Energy Blast – August 4, 2009

Oil has risen to over $70 a barrel for the first time in a month.  Bulgaria’s new government will continue to support the South Stream gas pipeline, but is as of yet undecided on whether to abandon its nuclear power plant, which was set to be constructed by Atomstroiexport.  Oil and Gas Eurasia reports that the country’s Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, has pledged Bulgaria’s determination to continue to work both on Nabucco as well as the Russia-backed pipeline.  Russia increased its gas exports by 20% in July compared with June as prices fell.  The New York Times looks at the questions surrounding Ukraine’s recently brokered loan from international lenders as doubts surface about whether the money will suffice to ward off a winter gas crisis.  The $1.7 billion loan is considerably smaller than the $4 billion the country had originally hoped for.  The Kurdistan Regional Government will take 17% of the UK-based oil explorer Heritage Oil.  Georgia has argued that Russia failed to damage its reputation as a reliable transit route for Caspian Sea energy supplies through last summer’s war, and that its reputation has even been enhanced by it.