Energy Blast – Jan 15th, 2009

Europe’s energy supplies are running out, with insufficient stockpiles of liquefied natural gas to cover demand and Russian gas still not flowing.  Polish government representatives are due to hold talks in Moscow today over gas supplies for state-controlled PGNiG.  A December power package auction at Russia’s Market Council saw prices rise 18% on the previous year.  A slump in demand from steelmakers is causing output and pricing for coking coal in Russia to drop sharply.  China’s National Petroleum Corp has signed a deal to develop Iran’s north Azadegan oil field.  Senior Venezuelan officials have begun soliciting bids from some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks, supposedly due to President Hugo Chávez’ fears that falling oil prices will scupper his plans to establish a Socialist-inspired state.  The New York Times writes on the oil that is going nowhere.