Energy Blast – June 24, 2008

OPEC president Chakib Khelil has warned that oil prices “will not come down”. Lukoil will spend €1.35 billion euros ($2.1 billion) on a joint venture with Italy’s ERG that is expected to expand sales in Europe. Eni has made a new on-shore gas discovery in Pakistan. Mikhail Fridman, the Russian chairman of TNK-BP, has called on the firm’s chief executive, Robert Dudley, to step down, saying that his only concern is for the interests of BP. The Moscow labor inspectorate has fined Dudley $126 for “technicallabor infractions, and threatened to strip him of his job. The Nabucco project “has long been hailed as a remedy to Europe’s growing dependency on Russian gas exports”, but Gazprom is a 50% stakeholder in the Baumgarten-based gas hub that Nabucco is supposed to feed. Gazprom’s head says an OPEC-style gas charter is not feasible. The company recently announced that it had discussed the possibility of selling gas to Israel. State-run Russian Railways has won an auction for the government’s stake in TGK-14.