Energy Blast – May 18, 2009

President Medvedev has reportedly slammed government ministers for showing ‘barely any progress’ on modernizing Russia’s energy sector.  The New York Times reports on how constructing a gas leviathan has backfired on the Kremlin.  A new $8 billion joint European and Arab project has been announced to export gas from Kurdistan to Europe, and reduce reliance upon Russian gas.  Russia has dismissed any threat to its gas sector.  Russia and Turkey have agreed to extend a gas supply contract and the former will engage in constructing four nuclear plants in Turkey.  The Moscow Times reports on the rivalry between Nabucco and South Stream.  Gazprom comments upon European resistance to its pipelines here.   Russia has played down tensions over the pipeline saying, ‘we confirm once again that we do not oppose Nabucco.   Gazprom will pay Eni and Enel $1.5 billion to have a majority interest in gas explorer SeverEnergia.  Eni and Gazprom have signed an agreement on the South Stream pipeline to increase transport capacity.  The Russian ambassador has taken issue with the Times’ coverage of Russia’s ambitions in the Arctic.