Energy Blast – July 21, 2010

The Kremlin needs $50 billion every year for road construction, and the Duma is apparently considering levying a new excise tax on gasoline to fund this project.  Kazakhstan currently plans to implement a $20 per ton tax on oil leaving its territory to assist with its budget deficit, and analysts are speculating that the duty could rise further without deterring foreign oil companies working there (Chevron being a major partner in the country with the TengizChevroil venture).  Bulgarian officials have expressed their support for the Nabucco project, the rival project to the South Stream pipeline, a road map for which was signed off by Russia and Bulgaria last week.  Could China surpass the US as the world’s biggest oil importer within the next ten years?  The FT quotes a research estimate that between $1.2bn and $7.4bn in output and between 17,000 and 100,000 jobs will be lost by year’s end from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and has compiled a timeline of the disaster.