Energy Blast – Nov 23, 2010

China and Russia are signing agreements to expand cooperation in oil, gas, coal, and nuclear power, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao meets Russia’s leaders this week.  Here’s an early report on the first day of bilateral energy talks.  Jiabao is apparently looking for a cheaper gas price for the potentially 70 billion cubic meters that are at stake every year.  Russia has its eye on Europe’s gradual shift to renewable energy, but according to Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, increased reliance on renewable technologies will not eliminate gas demand.  On the contrary, in fact, at least for the immediate future: the European Commission expects gas requirements to rise steadily until at least 2030.  The EC’s Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, predicts that the South Stream and Nabucco pipelines could end up as competitors in the long-term.  TNK-BP is looking to double production in the next decade, and plans to invest $3.8 billion in its gas operations in order to achieve this.  Forecasts for Russian crude production overall this year show levels not reached in 20 years.  Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich has promised that there will be no gas disruptions this winter.