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Energy Blast – Jan 14th, 2009

Former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev, who owns shares in Gazprom, discusses the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute with the BBC.  The Georgian government is defending its plan to hand over control of a hydropower plant on the border with separatist Abkhazia to Inter RAO, a Russian utility controlled by Rosatom.  Opposition members of parliament are attacking the move – not yet binding – which would give the Russian company joint control over half of Georgia’s energy supplies.  LUKOIL has found no hydrocarbons in its offshore Caspian exploration development, and may now close the project, which it shares with Azeri firm Socar and Gaz de France.  The Bank of Russia thinks oil export revenue for 2008 was 30% higher than the previous year, and forecasts 2009 exports at only 15 million tons less than 2008.  US president-elect Barack Obama plans to make Canada his first foreign destination as President, in order to discuss the environmental issues surrounding Canada’s oil sands.  Qatar’s RasGas is in talks with Kuwait Petroleum Corp for a five-year deal to supply liquefied natural gas.