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Energy Blast – March 27, 2009

RusAl is telling workers at its Bogoslovsky Aluminum Plant in Krasnoturyinsk that they must accept salary cuts of up to 30% if they do not want the plant to close.  ‘The town will all die if they close the plant, but we will be forced to starve if we agree that our salaries be cut by a third,’ said one employee.  The Foreign Ministry has reiterated Vladimir Putin’s ire against Ukraine, saying that it sees the pledge by the European Union to help modernize Ukraine’s gas infrastructure as an unfriendly act against Moscow.  An energy consultant speaking at an Oslo conference suggested that European utilities such as E.ON, GDF Suez and Centrica may seek to establish themselves on the Norwegian continental shelf in small-company buyouts to gain natural-gas supplies.  View a timeline of the history of US nuclear power here.  The Kremlin reminds us – again – that it does not intend to be left behind in the race to gain access to Arctic resources.  ‘When Suncor and Petro-Canada, two big Canadian oil firms, announced a C$19.3 billion ($15.8 billion) merger on March 23rd, the industry’s biggest since 2006, speculation mounted that another wave of deals might be imminent.’