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Energy Blast – March 12, 2010

Apparently India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp may be invited to develop projects in Russia, and is looking for stakes in partnership with Rosneft and Gazprom in the Yamal Peninsula, East Siberia and the Sakhalin-3 project.  Improving nuclear ties also look promising, according to the WSJ.  ONGC has already agreed to collaborate with oil-to-telecoms group Sistema, which controls assets in Bashkortostan, and may also gain a foothold in profitable oil and gas projects in Russia’s far north.  The Russian government has initiated construction of a pipeline designed to increase crude exports to Asia.  The new Ukrainian Prime Minister has said that Ukraine will hold talks with Russia on an optimal gas price.  The head of Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, Surgutneftegas, has claimed his company has no plans to sell its stake in Hungary’s MOL, as shares are rising, despite tensions between the two firms.  Igor Sechin is apparently trying to mollify investors as Rosprirodnadzor recommends that TNK-BP lose its license to develop the huge Kovykta gas field in east Siberia.   China’s ‘insatiable demand for energy’ is examined in Reuters.  Could shale gas be its secret weapon?  The Economist takes a look at the gas’ alluring dissimilarity to coal.