Energy Blast – Feb 23, 2011

World oil prices are reportedly continuing to rise as the situation in Libya remains tense.  Are the Middle East’s troubles the chance for Russia gain a foothold in North Africa?  The question is considered in an analysis from Oil and Gas Eurasia.  Italian firm ENI has said it has suspended supplies through its Greenstream pipeline, which runs from Libya to Sicily and supplies 10% of Italy’s natural gas.  The European Commission has affirmed that Italy does has sufficient gas to supply companies and households.  The Independent considers why the idea of Rosneft gaining a board seat at BP, ‘would spark renewed fury in the US’.  The IHT has a special report on the environmental concerns surrounding shale gas fracking.  Russia is apparently ready to sign a contract with Iran on the delivery of radioactive isotopes for medical purposes, a spokesman for Rosatom has told reporters.  ‘The strategy earmarked post-Macondo is clear — a genuine focus on exploration and a shift toward resource and consumer markets’: Bloomberg analyzes BP’s moves towards Russia and India.  ‘This reflects relief at the closure he has brought to the political row over Macondo and a belief that he is refocusing BP credibly on its old métier of exploration’, says the FT on CEO Bob Dudley.  The Nabucco pipeline may, according to the Guardian, cost at $19 billion, almost twice as much as was originally projected.