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Energy Blast – July 14, 2008

Vladimir Putin has “scolded” Alexei Miller over companies’ access to Gazprom pipelines. Putin made a tour of a new oil rig in the Arctic. “The Russian pipelines of Nord Stream (in the Baltic) and South Stream (across the Black Sea) form an effective pincer movement, eagerly backed by key Russian allies such as Germany and Austria, leaving Ukraine and Poland open to Russian energy blackmail.” Gazprom is looking for new business opportunities in Iran after French oil major Total froze investment in a major Iranian field, citing political risk. The company warned that its import bill for gas purchases from Central Asia may more than double next year. TNK-BP’s Russian shareholders are “disappointed” that BP representatives rejected their proposals, and there is currently no immediate resolution to the disputes, but one UK paper reports that the partners are “back on speaking terms”.