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Energy Blast – Dec 1, 2009

An international tribunal has ruled in favor of Yukos shareholders who are seeking up to $100 billion compensation from the Russian government after the company assets were frozen and subsumed into Rosneft in 2006.  The ruling deemed that Russia is bound to protect investors by the Energy Charter Treaty, which, the FT reports, Russia has not signed, but has not offered an alternative to.  The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization has said that Russia will have first dibs on prospective power projects in the country.  Russia plans to start up the Bushehr plant in March 2010 to coincide with the Iranian New Year, says a Reuters exclusive; meanwhile four documents on the ‘expanding partnership’ between the two countries have been signed.  Russia is apparently ‘seriously concerned’ about Tehran’s new plans to expand its uranium enrichment program, which have been deemed ‘completely unacceptable’ by the US.  Could Iran be about to quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty?  ARMZ, a mining unit of Rosatom, will bid for Canadian miner Khan Resources, which possesses assets in Mongolia.  Russia and Poland may not reach on a gas contract by the end of this year as hoped.  Croatia is apparently showing considerable keenness to join the South Stream gas pipeline project.  OPEC’s smallest member, Ecuador, will increase crude output in 2010 after three years of decline.  Bloomberg looks at the gas glut.  Can we bank on nuclear as a viable alternative to fossil fuels? – an article in the Economist suggests not.