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Energy Blast – May 25, 2011

Russia and China have postponed pricing discussions about Transneft oil supplies until next month’s St Petersburg economic forum.  Ukraine is caught between deepening economic and political ties with the EU, and joining a Russian-led customs union offering attractive fuel prices. President Viktor Yanukovych says that EU integration is ‘our main priority‘.  Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been charged with abuse of office (‘exceeding authority‘) over the gas contracts she brokered with Vladimir Putin in 2009.  The FT discusses the possibility that Tymoshenko is being used as a scapegoat to persuade an unwilling Russia that the deal should be renegotiated.  Hungary has bought back a 21.2% stake in MOL from Surgutneftegaz for €1.9 billion – Hungary had described Surgutneftegaz’s initial acquisition of the stake in 2009 as unfriendly.  ‘From a national strategic point of view, we have managed to place one of the most important corporations into safe hands,‘ says Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.  Azerbaijan is investigating the possibility of delivering gas to Europe via routes other than the Nabucco pipeline.  TNK-BP has signed an agreement with the Skolkovo Fund on energy conservation.