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Energy Blast – March 3, 2011

Both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin welcomed the news that France’s Total is to pay $4 billion for a 12% share in Novatek.  The deal ‘potentially brings more positives to Novatek than the other way around‘, says this FT blog analysis.  Rosneft does not support TNK-BP’s latest plan to ‘act as a middleman‘ in the share-swap deal with BP.  BP meanwhile says it has ‘real financial, practical and strategic concerns‘ about the proposal, under which TNK-BP would buy a 5% stake in BP and trade it for 10% of Rosneft.  Russia’s February oil output almost broke the post-Soviet record, staying above Putin’s desired target output of 10 million barrels a day.  Increasing demonstrations in Iran are driving up the price of oil, over speculation that instability could affect deliveries.