Energy Blast – Jan 19th, 2009

The Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, has accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of making Europe more dependent on Russia by giving her support to the Nord Stream pipeline.  The EU is unlikely to be able diversify energy supplies away from Russia for many years, says the Moscow Times.  The price of crude oil is currently around $36 a barrel, and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has predicted that 2009 oil prices will stay below International Energy Agency forecasts of roughly $40 a barrel.  Evraz Group has renounced the right to purchase a license to develop the Mezhegey coal deposit, due to weakening coal market conditions, and MMK and Mechel are involved in a row over coal pricing.  Turkey has received a revised offer from Russia’s Atomstroyexport to build the country’s first nuclear plant.  Mosenergo has had to suspend plans to build four new turbines after regulators capped the price of power from a recently installed plant.  Gazprom has signed a $120 million contract on exploring and developing a hydrocarbon deposit in eastern Algeria.