Energy Blast – Dec 19th, 2008

The Kremlin has proposed to increase its holding in the electricity sector, offering to bail out big electricity companies such as OGK-1 by organizing the purchase of company stakes by state banks, and is also drafting plans for a $5.25 billion electricity aid package.  Chalva Tchigirinsky has agreed to indemnify any losses made by Sibir Energy in a controversial deal under which the company will buy a portfolio of properties from him – but the deal has been postponed following opposition from Moscow City Hall.  Does the 10% drop in crude price since OPEC’s announcement that it plans to cut 2.2 million barrels indicate skepticism about its commitment?  Or is it just that the deepening recession is scuppering demand?  Kiev’s residents ‘seem almost resigned to another demonstration of Russia’s “gas diplomacy” – and a cut-off‘.  Falling oil prices raise questions about the sustainability of Venezuela’s foreign policy, says the Financial Times.