Energy Blast – July 23, 2008

Russia and Venezuela have signed deals allowing three large Russian energy companies to work in Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco Belt, including TNK-BP and Lukoil. Regarding the Kremlin’s decision to allocate Arctic resources internally has Yulia Latynina wondering: Is deputy prime minister Igor Sechin “the sole guarantor of Russia’s rational use of its national wealth?” BP has “reluctantlyrecalled the remaining 60 foreign employees assigned to TNK-BP, and says that CEO Robert Dudley may supervise the joint venture’s work from London if necessary. The UK’s Telegraph newspaper maintains the view that the dispute is “political”. Turkey has signaled that it wants to boost energy cooperation with Russia, “ending a frosty period marked by differences over the Nabucco pipeline”. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has called for a long-term deal with Ukraine as the country faces higher gas prices.