Energy Blast – Dec 23rd, 2008

Details of Russia’s agreement with Belarus on the price of gas are being kept under wraps, as the Kremlin merely stated that ‘the talks have produced an agreement‘.  This silence is giving rise to speculation about Belarus having won a price victory, after warning Dmitry Medvedev not to cripple its economy with high prices.  Private and state-owned power companies are to receive equal financial aid, says Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.  Despite opposition from within the Serbian government, Gazprom is to buy the Serbian state oil refiner, Naftna Industrija Srbije, in exchange for agreeing to route the South Stream pipeline through Serbian territory.  The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, comprising Russia, Iran, Qatar and Venezuela – often referred to as the ‘gas OPEC‘, is meeting today to discuss a potentially more formalized structure for itself.  TNK-BP has replaced all nine members of its main board, and given the deciding vote to ‘an independent director‘.  The price of oil has fallen below $40 a barrel.