Energy Blast – March 1, 2011

Oil prices spiked yesterday as protests in Oman raised concerns about the reliability of supplies from the Middle East compounded by Libyan unrest.  As the markets brace for upheavals in pricing due to political turmoil, a commentator in the FT argues that in fact, ‘The problems and risks facing global oil markets are fundamental, not temporary’.  Gazprom has increased gas supplies to Italy to 2.5 times normal levels after the country’s gas supplies from Libya ceased.  Russia has cited concerns that metal particles might be contaminating fuel assemblies as the reason for the removal of fuel from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant.  Rosatom claims to have found damage to one of the reactor’s four main cooling pumps.  Gazprom has won the battle against Rosneft in the bid for the Kovykta gas field, obtaining the right to develop the field’s 2 trillion cubic meters of reserves at a price of $773.2 million.   Gazprom and Vietnam Oil & Gas Group may jointly develop a natural-gas field in the Yamal-Nenets region which holds proved reserves of about 60 billion cubic meters.