Energy Blast – Feb 27th, 2009

Presidential economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovichhas says Russia has sufficient oil fund reserves to “live through this year without borrowing,” despite the possibility of a budget deficit. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian company Naftogaz wants to revise a deal it signed with Russia earlier this year, which ended the crisis that cut gas supplies to Europe. In Russia, coal producers want more governmental aid, including the removal of export taxes, as the cost of producing some coal exceeds what can be make selling it. The Centre for International Governance Innovation says Russia’s big plans for expanding its nuclear energy infrastructure face considerable problems: “It’s not clear if the country will be able to fulfill its goals to more than double its electrical output from nuclear power, increase exports of nuclear reactors, and play an even larger role in providing fuel and fuel-related services for nuclear plants. It’s also questionable if Russia has overcome safety and environmental errors that caused catastrophes in the Soviet era, addressed its problems with spent fuel or structured its industry to provide adequate security for nuclear materials and facilities in the post-Soviet era.” All the more important that Russia is learning to exploit its LNG resources.