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Energy Blast – June 22, 2010

Gas supplies to Belarus have been cut by a further 15% today, in addition to yesterday’s 15% cut.  Apparently the country plans to pay off its debts within two weeks.  Two weeks is too long to wait, says Sergei Kupriyanov.   ‘Gazprom cannot accept payment for debt in pies, butter, cheese or other means of payment‘: Medvedev’s response to Belarus’ offer to pay with machinery.  Relations between the two countries are becoming increasingly fractious, says the NY Times.  Apparently Gazprom can re-route its exports via Belarus to Ukraine, if an alternative transit route is needed.  Former Russian Energy Minister Yuri Shafranik has told RFE/RL that he is concerned about the possibility of a catastrophic oil spill in the Caspian Sea.  Blair Petroleum?  Oil firm Tatneft has posted a 60% year-on-year increase in first quarter net profit, due to rising oil prices.   The French energy company GDF Suez has joined the Nord Stream project.  The president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yevgeny Primakov, has pledged that the South Stream pipeline will go ahead even without Bulgaria.  Greece is willing to put all of its weight behind the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.  Statoil and Gazprom have signed an agreement on geological exploration in the Barents Sea.