Energy Blast – May 15, 2009

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the EU’s southern corridor agreements counterproductiveas long as discussions do not take into account Russian interests.  The Telegraph analyses how oil prices have risen by 70% in the past three months – a buoyant stock market or decreasing OPEC supplies?  The International Energy Agency has predicted that demand for oil will plummet in 2009 to its lowest since 1981.  Bidding has opened for contracts in Shtokman, a large offshore Arctic gas field, which has been set up by Gazprom-led company Shtokman Development AG.  It is estimated that developing the field may cost up to $15 billion.  Gazprom is set to sign deals with Bulgaria, Greek, Serbia and Italy on furthering the construction of the South Stream pipeline.  Ukraine’s Naftogaz is looking to work out transit fees in advance to fund pumping 20 billion cubic meters into storage, which left the company with a 2009 budget deficit of around $4.5 billion.  The Economist examines what riches lie on the hotly-contested seabed and the scramble for Arctic territory that has ensued.