Energy Blast – Jan 11, 2010

Russian oil continues to flow to Belarus and via Belarus to the European Union despite the failure of talks between by Moscow and Minsk, who are placing the blame squarely on each other.  A section of the Volgodonsk nuclear power plant has been shut down due to an emergency warning.  Turkmenistan has resumed gas supplies to Russia after a suspension of nine months.  Tajikistan has begun selling shares (and apparently coercing purchases in some cases) in a giant hydroelectric power plant in an effort to raise $1.4 billion from its people‘[I]n the vanguard of Russia’s new energy imperialism’: the Guardian takes a close look at Gazprom.  Polish President Lech Kaczynski has criticized the government’s prolix negotiations with and heavy dependence on Russia in the energy sector.  Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko has lamented the fact that the country is unable to employ the Odessa-Brody pipeline to its full capacity.   How a New Year gas cut-off is becoming something of a tradition as Russia’s political punishment for defiant neighbors.  Iraq has apparently signed up to a worldwide transparency initiative in an attempt to attain the respectability needed to become a global oil major.  With South America’s second largest gas reserves, Bolivia is looking to become a major economic player in the continent – but do its neighbors have other ideas?