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Energy Blast – July 11, 2011

Last week’s case of Gazprom merging its assets with those of Viktor Vekselberg to create an energy giant ‘highlights how tough it will be to curb the appetite of the national champions created under Mr Putin for gobbling up yet more assets‘.  Anatoly Chubais has spoken out against the merger, saying that it ‘will not bring advantages to either Russian energy or to Russian consumers‘.  RWE and Gazprom have been in talks over the weekend to discuss possible cooperation, and the German Economy Minister is encouraging Gazprom’s investment, but the antitrust watchdog says it will closely‘ examine any deals.  Ukrainian state-run Naftogaz will be able to resume natural gas shipments to Poland, after President Viktor Yanukovych signed a law allowing domestic exports.  Total may replace Chevron, after the U.S. company pulled out of its role as Rosneft’s partner in the Black Sea.  Kazakhstan’s Oil Ministry is to enact sanctions against Gelios for hiking gasoline prices.  If the U.S. scraps ethanol subsidies and tariffs, Brazil’s biofuel industry could become ‘the world’s alternative energy hub‘, says the FT.  Reuters has a Q&A on Australia’s plans for a carbon tax, which are unpopular in the LNG industry.  China is eager to work with South Sudan, which it recognised on Saturday, on its oil industry.  Russia is likely to become India’s third main source of coal imports, after South Africa and Indonesia, says this piece. Bulgaria wants to introduce a clause in its new gas delivery contracts with Gazprom that would allow it to re-sell excess gas to other consumers; but apparently this proposition was made last year, and has still received no response; the country has just discovered a large gas deposit near Lovech that could provide 1 billion cubic meters per year.