Energy Blast – June 20, 2008

The Economist writes on energy security in the Baltics, suggesting that Lithuania’s potential involvement with the controversial US missile shield is related to energy politics. Royal Dutch Shell has closed the Bonga oilfield, one of Africa’s biggest, after an attack by Nigerian militants. Stan Polovets, an AAR deputy chairman and TNK-BP shareholder, says the current row is being portrayed as “being driven by politics or greed — not as an attempt by the Russian shareholders to make sure their interests are represented in the company.” TMK, which makes steel pipes for the oil-and-gas sector, has mandated Barclays, UBS, ING and ABN AMRO to organize a $600 million eurobond issue. Federal Grid says it will boost its number of power lines by 58% over the next decade and eliminate a transmission deficit in Moscow by the end of the year. Saudi Arabia’s unilateral decision to increase its production is causing a “deepening rift within the Opec cartel”. Aeroflot is predicting a fall in profits this year due to the “colossal” effects of high fuel prices.