Energy Blast – Dec 31, 2008

The Gazprom-Ukraine natural gas price-supply fiasco seemed to be drawing to a close yesterday, but not before some last-minute threats to keep things interesting.  The Russians are on a New Year’s Eve vigorous offensive, claiming that the Ukrainians are carrying out “blackmail” and threatening to seize supplies and cut off Europe.  Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kuprianov said that a letter received from Naftogaz had reduced the chances of clinching a gas deal before midnight:  “If yesterday we had a 50:50 chance of reaching a deal today it is now 70:30, or a crisis scenario.

Shareholders of Imperial Energy, a British-based firm with most of its assets in Russia, have agreed to a buyout by ONGC, the Indian state-owned company.