Energy Blast – May 6, 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused oil companies of conspiring to force up gasoline prices, lambasting Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin for suggesting that higher prices were caused by a lack of products on the Russian market. ‘It’s not a shortage.  This is not about a shortage.  This is a conspiracy.  They are colluding.‘  Separate to their embattled attempts to forge a deal in Russia, Rosneft and BP have collaborated outside of Russia, with Rosneft buying a stake in BP’s German refining joint venture Ruhr Oel.  Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is suggesting that gas production taxes could raise the government $5.5 billion per year, amid ministry suggestions that the current rate could double.  A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker is being returned to its port following an ‘insignificantradiation leak, according to Rosatomflot.  The first North Stream pipeline has been completed.