Energy Blast – Feb 9, 2011

ConocoPhilips has ended its seven-year involvement in Russia, selling its remaining Lukoil stake (which the firm will buy back) as part of a drive ‘to improve shareholder returns‘.  Shell has set its sights on expanding Russia’s Sakhalin-2 liquefied gas export plant with another unit to help it win markets in China and India, and may propose an Asian asset swap with Gazprom in exchange.  Declining demand for fuels in developed nations is driving BP and Shell to sell processing and refining assets in Germany and the US, Bloomberg reports.  As planned, the Chinese branch of Russia’s East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline has been pumping over 300,000 barrels per day since the beginning of the year.  India is searching for a solution on how to pay Iran for its oil, with talk of implementing a bilateral trade agreement.  Statoil says it will draw its focus away from acquisitions and seek growth through the development of business opportunities.