Energy Blast – Feb 2, 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin says he will convince the Finance Ministry to keep the blanket zero duty on oil exports from East Siberia.  The quarterly reports are in, with BP recording almost halved annual profits and forecasting a slow year to come. Gazprom is both gaining and losing, depending on how you look at it: the BBC and the Moscow Times note that profits for the first nine months of 2009 (still well in their billions) showed a 34-36% profit drop on figures from the previous year, and blame the drop on increased gas costs.  The WSJ, on the other hand, notes that, year-on-year, third quarter figures alone are up, thanks to foreign exchange gains and lower profit taxes.  Oleg Deripaska’s EN+, the metals and energy holding company, may sell its remaining oil asset and exit the oil industry after failing to win state approval to buy Russneft.  A new report published by British think-tank Green Alliance discusses the possibilities of resource nationalism and politically motivated disruptions of energy supplies, both for Russia and the UK.  Shell’s planned $12 billion joint venture with Brazil’s Cosan could dominate the Brazilian ethanol market.