Energy Blast – August 10, 2009

Italian President Silvio Berlusconi has been unabashed about taking the credit for getting Turkey to participate in the South Stream pipeline deal, seeing it as a reflection of his gift for ‘great commercial diplomacy’.  For a timeline of important dates concerning Nabucco and South Stream, see Reuters.  Construction of the South Stream pipeline may begin in November 2010.  The Russian government has apparently canceled the 2010 deadline for bidding on reserve capacities as demand is falling.  Tatneft may begin syndication of a three-year syndicated loan for its Nizhnekamsk refinery by the end of the month.  Although hosting colossal gas reserves, could Russia lack the infrastructure to exploit them effectively?  With Gazprom planning to open an office in Rio it looks like energy may be a major factor in stronger ties between Brazil and Russia.  According to Bloomberg, Mol’s stake in a Russian oil field will be under threat as long as Surgutneftegaz is prevented from exercising its shareholder rights.   Reuters looks at an oil discovery in Java that could radically transform the fate of one town.