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Energy Blast – Dec 16, 2009

The eleven-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum says the question of it coordinating output volumes is ‘not yet on the agenda‘, but some members, the Algerian oil minister at very least, want GECF to be able to influence prices in the future.  The forum’s current aims are to expand membership and gain international influence, says the Moscow Times.  Russian electricity producer Mosenergo paid back $185 million of debt to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ahead of schedule.  A Friends of the Earth analysis says that Copenhagen loopholes like ‘hot air‘ could see carbon emissions increase, not decline, by 2020, citing Russia as a possible primary culprit due to its accumulation of unused carbon credits which it is currently planning to carry over.  ‘Climate change and the environment are not big issues for most Russians – and most of the time the government seems equally unconcerned,‘ says the BBC.  Eurasia’s CEO discusses the new TransAsian gas pipeline that many say ends Russia’s near monopoly on exports. ‘Europe undoubtedly needs Russian gas, but fears that this gives the Kremlin a monopolistic stranglehold over Europe are exaggerated. Russia’s share of total EU gas imports is just above 40 percent today, compared with 80 percent in 1980.‘  Gazprom and Vietnam Oil & Gas Group have signed a deal to explore for crude oil in Russia.  The US has approved new legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that supply gasoline to Iran.