Energy Blast – June 12, 2009

Oil prices have soared to their highest since October at $72 a barrel, amid talk of an economic recovery and International Energy Agency predictions of an increase in global demand.  A BP reports calculates that there is enough oil to last for 42 years at current production rates.   Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has appealed to the government to take urgent steps to stabilize the national energy company Naftogaz which is in a ‘critical’ state.  The President has reiterated concerns about the gas deal agreed with Russia, as the Kremlin could demand a $5 billion fine if Kiev buys less gas in the first two quarters than agreed.  Russia will keep foreign investment in the oil and gas industry to 25% of the total to help domestic companies remain profitable.  Russia, Iran and Qatar will discuss the appointment of a secretary general at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.  WWF has complained that seismic testing carried out by Exxon Mobil, BP and Rosneft on Russia’s Sakhalin Island will threaten the endangered western gray whale.  Slovenia apparently will not sell its 29% stake in Petrol Group d.d. to Gazprom.