Energy Blast – May 25, 2009

At the EU summit Russia warned that it will not extend any loans to Ukraine and refused to offer guarantees that gas supplies would not be interrupted.  President Viktor Yushchenko has said that the agreement Ukraine and Russia came to in January ‘fails to meet the economic policy basics’.  Putin says Russia will not accept Ukraine’s proposal to postpone gas storage payments in exchange for future transit fees. Gazprom Neft is seeking a bigger stake in Sibir Energy – up to 30%.  Rumors abound that the company may purchase an additional stake to give it a controlling interest.  A special committee has been created to deal with the issue of gas supplies to eastern Europe in the 1990s, as Gazprom claims it is owed money as part of a deal which saw it exchange gas for infrastructure.  Russia is reportedly close to reaching a deal with Slovenia and Austria on the South Stream pipeline.  Gazprom and Slovenia have replaced an existing deal extending Russian natural gas supplies for another 15 years.  Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg could become the next interim CEO of TNK-BP.