Energy Blast – Feb 17, 2011

President Medvedev’s two-day trip to Rome has yielded agreements with Italy in the energy sphere, principally that of Gazprom acquiring 33% of Italian gas company Eni’s shares in Libya’s Elephant oil and gas production field project, worth $178 million.  Read here why Bulgaria is nonplussed about the idea of Russia exiting the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.  Meanwhile Transneft has denied that the project has been abandoned.  French major Total is apparently keen to establish the joint development of fields in the Barents Sea with Rosneft, alongside bigger rivals ExxonMobil and BP.  Reuters reports that Sberbank has valued the oil assets it gained from Urals Energy in a debt restructuring deal at up to $2.35 billion and intends to sell them this year, possibly to Bashneft.  Gazprom has asserted that the launch of the Nord Stream gas pipeline on the bed of the Baltic Sea will not affect gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine and Belarus.