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Energy Blast – May 30, 2011

Shell is pressing on with talks with Rosneft, fueling speculation that a deal between the two could fill the gap left by the failed BP tie-up.  Russian export duty is to rise by 1.9% to $63 a barrel, its highest level since 2008.  Reuters reports on the ways in which global warming could affect the strategically-important Arctic.  TNK-BP is looking to open a representative office in Iraq. Ukraine is concerned that the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines will deprive it of two-thirds of its gas transit volumes when they start transporting.  Alexei Miller, the chief of Gazprom, is in discussions with E.On over the German company’s possibly joining South Stream.  Gazprom is using the argument that EU gas consumption is falling in its attempts to persuade the government not to raise taxes.  China has expressed opposition to Vietnamese offshore exploration for oil and gas in part of its territory, saying that it has violated their mutual consensus.  Germany is to phase out its remaining nuclear power plants, aiming to be nuclear-free by 2022.