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Energy Blast – June 16, 2010

A new gas war in the cards?  Russia has given Belarus a five-day window in which to pay back its $200 million gas debt; failing which ‘tough measures’ have been promised by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.  Belarus and Iran are reportedly looking forward to fruitful cooperation in the Jofeir oilfield at the Iran-Iraq border.  Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin have agreed to reintroduce the export duty for East Siberian oil fields from July 1 to help shore up the country’s budget deficit.  Moscow power-generation company Mosenergo, controlled by Gazprom, increased net profit 20% to $179.5 million in the first quarter of 2010.   Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has expressed possible interest in a joint project between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Gazprom that could include an asset swap.  Bloomberg reports that South Korea may build a nuclear reactor in Turkey.  Bulgaria may want out, but Greece apparently remains loyal to the Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline, a spokesman has told Oil and Gas Eurasia.  According to this article, China and Kazakhstan have agreed to jointly fund and construct a natural gas pipeline and enhance co-operation in atomic energy, giving Beijing greater access to Astana’s considerable uranium supplies.  To read a transcript of Obama’s Oval Office speech on how the US will tackle the Gulf of Mexico crisis, see the Telegraph.