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Energy Blast – June 1, 2009

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has said that should Europe offer support, Russia may assist in a gas loan to Ukraine.  It seems unlikely that the EU will agree, with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso saying a loan would be ‘difficult’, if not impossible.  Gazprom has announced that it is speeding up its plans to sell liquefied natural gas to a wider range of customers.  TNK-BP has sold its oil field-services unit for $489 million to Weatherford International.  Turkmenistan has shut off 195 gas production fields, with 92% of its exports to Russia remaining suspended since the April explosion, the result of a ‘vacuum-bomb effect’ blamed on Gazprom.  Reuters reports that Turkmenistan is threatening to sue Russia over the blast.  The former’s energy prospects are looking positive; a geological survey has suggested that that country may hold as much as 200-250 billion metric tons of oil equivalent and that foreign investment in its section of the Caspian Sea should reach $3.8 billion this year.  Turkey’s reported demand for 15% of the gas pumped through the Nabucco pipeline is apparently not a ‘deal-breaker‘.