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Energy Blast – March 8, 2011

High global energy prices caused by instability in the Middle East are allowing Russia to ‘reap a windfall‘: its currency is rising against the dollar faster than any other, and stocks are ‘buoyant‘.  As the cost of the Nabucco pipeline balloons, the consortium behind it is struggling to find financiers, with EU officials saying that 2011 will be the year of the pipeline’s reckoning. ‘Either it is this year or it is not feasible.‘  Uranium supply contracts with Russia, Kazakhstan and France will help India increase nuclear generation by 35% this financial year.  Bellona reports on the worrying rise of RBMK-1000 nuclear reactors, ‘infamous for the 1986 catastrophe at the nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine’s Chernobyl‘, eleven of which are currently in operation at major Russian plants.  Petrofac says that unrest in Libya has thus far caused only a ‘minimal impact‘ on its oil and gas operations, but remains cautious about the immediate future.  Opec members including Saudi Arabia are raising oil output in a bid to lower prices and calm fears of shortages amid the Libyan crisis; Nigeria says it also has the capacity to increase production if necessary.