Energy Blast – June 21, 2010

With the failure of the weekend’s gas talks between Gazprom and a delegation from Minsk, President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered that gas supplies to Belarus be cut.  The company’s chief Alexei Miller asserted that shipments to Europe will not be affected.  Is an energy war between Bulgaria and Russia brewing?  Gasunie’s outgoing chief, Marcel Kramer, will be taking over the reins of Gazprom’s South Stream project.  EDF can look forward to at least a 10% stake in the pipeline, following its MOU with Gazprom.  The Russia exporter is apparently contemplating buying Britain’s largest energy supplier, Centrica.  The tax discount on Rosneft’s crude exports from East Siberia will likely end at the start of next year, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has said.  Reuters has a factbox on the Rosneft chairman, and interview here.  Sechin believes that Gazprom must focus on the Asian markets as European demand drops; meanwhile the company is also apparently tempted by Africa.  It seems that TNK-BP’s license to develop the Kovykta gas field may end up in the hands of the state.  Russia reportedly plans to arm its embassies around the world with nuclear officials to help gain contracts for Rosatom.