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Energy Blast – May 26, 2010

Bloomberg reports on how the fate of oil town Slantsy rests in the hands of billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, as President Medvedev insists that the wealthy invest in towns in industrial decline.  A feature on RFE/RL looks at oil exploration in the Caspian Sea, the dangers of which have been fitfully reminded by the BP oil spill.  The Economic Development Ministry is reportedly considering taxing exports of cooking coal and cutting import duties to re-enforce domestic supply shaken by the Raspadskaya mine explosions.  The Nabucco pipeline has received more than 60 pre-qualification bids from pipe suppliers.  Apparently Gazprom may be obliged to reveal information on access to the country’s gas pipelines.  Gazprom Neft has announced a doubling in profit in the first quarter after it gained control of Sibir Energy and oil prices rose.  Production from the Sakhalin-1 oil project will soon see an increase of 30,000 barrels per day.  Russia’s competition watchdog plans to fine oil companies, including Rosneft and Lukoil, a combined $1 billion over domestic prices for refined products.  Shale gas will have less of an impact in Europe than it will in the US, say analysts at the Reuters Global Energy Summit