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Energy Blast – Dec 2, 2010

A US embassy cable leaked by WikiLeaks suggests that Russia’s oil industry is rife with ‘secret deals using intermediaries to gather profits, and that Swiss firm Gunvor is one such firm, ‘rumored to be one of Putin’s sources of undisclosed wealth‘.  Gunvor categorically denies this.  It seems unlikely, but this FT article suggests that Gazprom is struggling to keep up with increased winter gas demands due to its need to replace many of its compressors: ‘Gazprom has spent a fortune pursuing political goals, sometimes at the expense of its balance sheet.‘  Rosatom says it has created the world’s first international atomic fuel bank, in a bid ‘to reduce the risk of other countries processing their own uranium‘.  A Russian climatologist says that the effects of global warming, on savings in heating bills alone, will benefit Russia greatly: a heating season shorter by even two weeks, he says, could save 3 billion tons of oil.  E.On has sold its 3.5% Gazprom stake, most of it to VEB, for a total of $4.5 billion.  RFE/RL reports on a possible pact between Russia and the US on nuclear waste that, environmentalists say, could turn Russia into a ‘nuclear wasteland‘.