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Energy Blast – May 25, 2010

Oil prices have fallen to below $70 a barrel, with markets spooked by the swelling debt crisis in Europe.  Iran is, according to the New York Times, clinging to the Turkey-Brazil fuel swap plan. Turkmenistan will reportedly commence building of its state-constructed pipeline to the Caspian Sea later this month.  Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko has said that restrictions may be placed on the development of Russia’s offshore deposits following the Gulf of Mexico disaster.  Apparently BP is recovering 40% less of the oil spilling from the Deepwater rig than it had initially claimed.  Analysts have suggested that shale gas reserves will compensate for losses provoked by the calamity.  ‘Shale gas is a welcome piece of genuinely good news’, says the Financial Times.   The Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Atomic Inspection has announced that it plans unscheduled checks of oil refineries in the Saratov and Penza regions.  Lukoil will spend $1 billion on upgrading its Bulgarian refinery, RIA Novosti reports.  The Moscow city government  has claimed that Turkish energy producer Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim has failed to deliver two power plants worth more than $1 billion on schedule, and has urged the company to activate the plants immediately.