Energy Blast – June 27, 2008

If upheld by a court, AAR’s new accusation that a recently elected TNK-BP board is “illegal” could cripple BP’s ability to manage its Russian assets and refineries. Stan Polovets says that the last straw before the current row was a dispute over an oil project in Iraq. OGK-1, majority owned by Unified Energy System, has created a joint venture with TNK-BP, which UES chief Anatoly Chubais hailed as “a sign of a positive future” for the embattled oil firm. In an interview with the FT, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller says OPEC has, effectively, “lost control of the market” and has no control over prices. He also reiterated his widely-criticized opinion that oil prices will rise “dramatically”, and said that state energy firms are poised to dominate the global fight for new resources. Gazprom plans to invest $3 billion a year exploring for gas at Russian deposits between 2008 and 2010, and is proposing opening a chain of filling stations using natural gas as an alternative car fuel across Europe.