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Energy Blast – Dec 15, 2009

Gazprom has rejected all requests from European customers to remove take-or-pay clauses from long-term contracts, which require companies to pay for a set amount of gas each year, whether they need it or not.  Black Sea oil exports are being threatened with disruption over a dispute between Transneft and the owners of the Novorossiisk port, which covers around 20% of Russia’s overall sea shipments.  Lukoil’s shares are up following news of its Iraq oilfield victory.  Austria says it is interested in taking part in the South Stream gas pipeline project, as the project will ‘play a significant part in gas supplies‘.  A secret memo published in The Times over the weekend apparently highlights Iran’s growing technical prowess, and ‘underscores the case for tough new sanctions against Iran‘, according to the Obama Administration.  The BBC has a Q&A overview of the Iranian nuclear question.  ExxonMobil’s decision to pay $31 billion in stock for XTO Energy ‘signals a significant shift in strategy‘, says the FT.  The deal is the biggest in the oil and gas sector in four years, notes the New York Times.