Energy Blast – March 1, 2010

‘Iran is standing on 50% of the world’s energy and should it so decide Europe will have to spend the winter in cold’.  The Telegraph reports that the US is upping the pressure on Russia to toughen its stance on Iran.  Sanctions would apparently be aimed at Tehran’s financial sector and at transportation.  Read a story that unveils how Iran acquired nuclear equipment here.  Energy is on the agenda for Medvedev’s meeting with Sarkozy in Paris, including possibly the prospect of increased Gazprom exports to France.  TNK-BP is apparently contemplating venturing into unconventional gas exploration in former soviet states.  The company reportedly expects hydrocarbon production in 2010 to increase by 1-2% (excluding Slavneft).  It is expected that the topic of Russian gas transit will be prominent at Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich’s meeting with EU leaders.  Gazprom has renegotiated contracts with its four largest customers for a period of three years, a designated ‘crisis’ period.  The chairman of the board of Russian oil and gas giant Trans Nafta has been found dead in the company’s Moscow office; apparently murder has been ruled out