Energy Blast – March 4, 2011

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko could force coal mining companies to allocate a third of their profits for safety spending, responding to high numbers of miner deaths thought to have been caused by safety violations.  Output at TNK-BP’s Uvat project is progressing faster than expected, with 2011 output anticipated to hit 6 million tons.  Turkmenistan has agreed to start selling China 20 billion cubic meters a year of gas beyond what it already supplies, apparently due to stalled talks with Gazprom over pricing and volume.  Royal Dutch Shell says that OPEC can compensate for oil supply shortfalls caused by volatility in Libya, but that the sector will need more investment in the long-term to prevent shortages. Investor George Soros is calling for more transparency and accountability from oil producers, blaming oil money corruption for the current unrest.