Energy Blast – March 15, 2010

India and Russia have signed a nuclear cooperation agreement, which will see Russia assist in the building of around 20 ‘ultrasafe’ reactors at three locations in India.  European states could take unilateral measures on Iran sanctions if a vote on a long-awaited UN resolution fails, French and Finnish ministers have apparently said.  The US is approaching the removal of nuclear weapons in Europe with caution, in consultation with NATO, says the Washington Post.  Russia’s no. 2 gas firm, Novatek, saw better than expected profits in 2009, rising 13.7%.  Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil explorer, will buy a 50% stake in Argentine producer Bridas Corp. for $3.1 billion.  Targets in China remain ‘very aggressive’.  A predicted rise in demand from Asia has sent IEA forecasts up.  The EU is apparently confident that stability under new Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will reduce the possibility of gas disputes and interruptions.  The Gazprom-led Nord Stream gas pipeline consortium and banks are, according to the Moscow Times, currently negotiating $5.4 billion in financing.