Energy Blast – May 12, 2009

Nuclear energy is top of the agenda for Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan; coinciding with the official visit, Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp. and Russia’s Irkutsk Oil Co., have come to an agreement on a two-field joint venture in eastern Siberia.  The Moscow Times suggests caution when it comes to the current high oil prices, suggesting crude reached $57 a barrel on optimism alone: ‘Anybody in the oil industry will tell you that the price of oil is too high right now.’  U.S. oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. would beg to differ, saying the rise in oil prices is ‘good news for the industry and clearly this means more activities are going to occur as the oil price continues to go up’.  As part of its energy drive, South Korea has made a deal with Uzbekistan for joint exploration of five oil fields in the resource-rich nation.  Hugo Chavez’s seizure of Venezuela’s oil services may ‘hurt Venezuela’ in the long term as investors back off.  The FT suggests that the absence of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan as signatories of the ‘new silk-road’ Nabucco deal undermines the progress the agreement purports to make.