Energy Blast – Jan 15, 2010

RFE/RL reports on the balancing act the new EU energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, will have to perform if he wishes to avoid alienating Russia, whilst upholding European interests.  An energy summit underway in the Georgian Black Sea port of Batumi to discuss ways of sidestepping Russia in transporting gas to Europe has reportedly had the wind taken out of its sails; Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and a handful of other leaders have backed out.  Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri says that the country intends to construct a plant to liquefy up to 30 billion cubic meters of Azeri natural gas a year for export to Europe.  European Union regulators have formalized an investigation into E.ON and two of its units over an alleged abuse of their prime status in the gas-supply sector.  The German giant may lose control of the country’s $53 billion energy market as clients seek less expensive fuel elsewhere.  What the Ukraine elections will mean for European gas supplies, on the BBC.