Energy Blast – May 26, 2009

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko has said that Russia’s gas output may fall by 18-20% this year.  Shmatko has adopted a more reassuring tone than his counterparts on the supply of gas to Europe, saying ‘there are all the necessary reasons to see stable supplies . . . The problems of January 2009 will not be repeated’.  BP has said that it will nominate Pavel Skitovich, a former envoy to Uganda and Polyus CEO, for the post of CEO at TNK-BP, an appointment which should end the standoff between shareholders that has marred the company’s fortunes of late.  This week Russia is expected to sign a deal to supply the US with low-enriched uranium.  Gazprom Neft is moving a step closer to a takeover of Sibir Energy as it increases its stake, making a cash offer for the whole company, excluding the shares owned by Bennfield Limited, Central fuel company and the Bank of Moscow.  The head of Gazprom says Ukraine’s outstanding gas bill is a ‘very, very grave’ matter and that the company may have to ‘move over to 100% advance payments’.  The G8 energy forum has concluded that stabilizing prices and improving energy efficiency should be top priorities.