Energy Blast – Feb 16th, 2009

Bolivian President Evo Morales is on his first visit to Russia, hoping to win investments in natural resources exploration.  ExxonMobil, which operates the Sakhalin-1 project, has reportedly ‘clashed with the government’, because it wants to sell the prospective gas to China, whereas the government wants all of it for Gazprom.  ExxonMobil says the government is halting development on the project now by hindering it with budget cuts that focus on ‘optimizing costs’.  The Sakhalin-2 project, Russia’s first LNG plant, is meanwhile set to debut this week.  LUKoil says it is interested in bidding for Iraq’s West Qurna and Rumaila oil fields, and may join forces with ConocoPhillips to do so.  TNK-BP is trying to borrow about $1 million in medium-term debt in order to fund its projects this year.