Energy Blast – June 17, 2011

Following talks between Dmitry Medvedev and China’s President Hu Jintao at the Kremlin, conflicting reports are emerging on the status of the Russia-China gas deal.  RFE/RL reports that the two nations have postponed the signing of a major deal to supply Siberian natural gas to China, which has been clouded by intransigence over prices.   Meanwhile Reuters reports that the countries are on the verge of reaching an agreement.   Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin says the talks areconsiderably advanced’.   Sechin added that Rosneft may increase oil shipments to China, above today’s 300,000 barrels per day, to feed a planned refinery.  Laszlo Varro, the IEA’s head of gas, has told the FT that Russia’s plans for export to China are ‘quite difficult’ given the infrastructure required.  At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, TNK-BP oligarch Viktor Vekselberg has said that he is currently not looking to sell his stake in the company, ‘But if there is an interesting proposal, why not?’  The head of the International Energy Agency sees trouble ahead if OPEC refuses to increase oil production.  Apparently 57% of Russians believe the country should abandon nuclear energy