Energy Blast – Feb 20th, 2009

EU energy ministers are ‘wrangling’ over how to spend 3.75 billion euros ($4.7 billion) on securing energy supplies after the most recent Russia-Ukraine gas crisis.  Is another crisis of this kind inevitable?  Ukraine’s Naftogaz has announced that ‘the situation as regards paying Gazprom could worsen because of the catastrophic rise in debts of regional utility companies’.  Slovenia and Russia are making progress with talks on the planned South Stream gas pipeline.  Turkmenistan’s South Yolotan-Osman field, which exports most of its gas to Russia, is one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits – is Europe losing the race to secure gas from Turkmenistan?  Sibir Energy has admitted it is owed $325 million by co-owner Shalva Chigirinsky, almost triple the amount originally announced.  Sibir cannot explain its initial misreporting of the figure, and its shares, accordingly, were suspended from trading on London’s AIM market yesterday.  China’s new oil-for-loans accord with Brazil will reap hefty benefits for Sinopec, says Bloomberg.  Russia’s Integra Group finalized a $250 million loan with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to refinance its short-term debt and fund capital expenses.  Shell is eager to form new energy partnerships with Gazprom after launching Sakhalin-2 this week.