Energy Blast – July 20, 2009

International lenders and the European Union have agreed to ‘intensify’ talks with Ukraine over possible loans to help Kiev pay for Russian gas as the country indicated a willingness to institute concrete reforms at home.  Kiev has promised to raise household gas prices and to ensure payments of bills to strengthen Naftogas domestically.  Asian refiners are reportedly likely to increase imports of Urals crude as cuts in production by OPEC limit their options.  An article in the Guardian outlines the proposal of creating an IAEA bank of low-enriched uranium to guarantee supplies to countries that need nuclear fuel for their power reactors, all the while safeguarding the reduction of nuclear arsenals, as low-enriched uranium cannot be used for the production of nuclear weapons.  Russia has temporarily abolished export duty for nine months for 13 East Siberian oil fields.  An article in the Telegraph reports on the necessity of nuclear power in Britain as the North Sea oil fields begin to empty.  Reuters reports on why Iraq’s parliament has the power to block a contentious oil deal with BP and China’s CNPC