Energy Blast – Feb 1, 2011

According to the Telegraph, at yesterday’s closing, brent crude had risen above $100 a barrel for the first time in 28 months on mounting concerns that the political situation in Egypt could jeopoardize oil shipments through the Suez Canal.  Oil and Gas Eurasia reports that as of this morning it is falling again on news China’s economy is slowing.  As the AAR-BP quarrel over the Rosneft-BP deals deepens, the Russian consortium has decided to withhold a $1.8 billion dividend in protest against the alliance.  According to Wikileaks documents the Telegraph has received, BP ‘systematically’ explored new ventures in ‘rogue states such as Burma, Cuba and Sudan in a deal brokered with AAR.  When the board of TNK-BP refused to pursue those deals, one of the company’s Russian directors, German Khan, (who one BP executive described as ‘certifiably deranged’) reportedly picked up the projects for his own private firm.  The files apparently also reveal that BP Bob Dudley felt deputy prime minister Igor Sechin was responsible for a plot against him.  A new report which the AP has accessed confirms suggestions made by NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin last week that the Stuxnet virus could have sparked the meltdown of Iran’s Bushehr plant.  Britain’s defense secretary Liam Fox has expressed the belief that Iran may be capable of developing a nuclear weapon by next year.  A UN report suggests that North Korea has at least one secret nuclear facility, in addition to a plant at Yongbyon which was identified in 2010.