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Energy Blast – May 16, 2011

BP reportedly remains ‘optimistic’ about agreeing on a share swap with Rosneft as the companies reach the May 16 deadline.  Apparently the British giant is back in last-minute talks to buy out the Russian partners in its joint venture TNK-BP Ltd, a deal that could be worth in excess of $30 billion, in an attempt to salvage their deal with Rosneft.  This would have give the Russian company the 50% stake in TNK-BP which is currently owned by the deal-blocking AAR consortium.  A TNK-BP official apparently believes that Russia could continue to increase its oil output at a rate of 2% per year as long as foreign investors can be enticed.  Russia’s third-largest maker of steel pipes for oil and gas, ChelPipe, has renounced its plans for an initial public offering, for fear of being undervalued.  Libya’s biggest oil company, Arab Gulf Oil Co, will not, this report says, resume production until the war ends.  The FT has an interview with Eni head Paolo Scaroni, who considers, amongst other issues, the future of the oil industry in war-torn Libya, where the Italian company has heavily invested.  Lithuania’s Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas has stated that shale gas deposits may reduce the Baltic state’s dependence on Gazprom for energy supplies.  The buzz around unconventional energy continues – Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total have signed a partnership for exploration of shale gas in Poland.