Energy Blast – Jan 7th, 2009

Crude oil has risen above $50 a barrel to a five-week high, and the cut off of Russian gas to Ukraine and Europe has led to an increase in natural gas prices.  The chief executive of Italy’s Eni may have been feeling serene about the crisis as of last night, but Italy has had to start tapping into its gas stockpiles to cope with substantial interruptions to its supply caused by the latest cut off moves by Russia and Ukraine.  ‘If the rights and wrongs of the dispute look more complicated three years on, however, the lessons to be learnt by Europe’s energy-importing countries are, depressingly, the same. Much of the European Union is vulnerable in the energy department.’  A gang of armed men has attacked an ExxonMobil oil platform in offshore Nigeria, but production was not affected