Energy Blast – Nov 24, 2010

An agreement on the pricing of natural gas supplies between Russia and China is unlikely to be reached until next year, according to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who sought to assure reporters that the talks were proceeding ‘successfully‘.  Increased volumes of oil traveling along the Druzhba pipeline from Ukraine to Belarus have taken it to maximum capacity, occluding Russia’s option to increase its supplies to Europe.  Transneft is concerned that deliveries of Venezuelan crude to Belarus – Russian oil obtained ‘via a swap‘, apparently – could threaten Russia’s oil deliveries to central Europe.  It’s only speculation as yet, but reports suggest that Putin, in his capacity as VEB board member, may discuss E.ON’s potential sale of its 3.5% ($4.5 billion) Gazprom stake to the bank with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Part of the government’s privatization is likely to include a 25% reduction in the government’s Rosneft stake including a 10% asset swap, says this WSJ blog.  Gazprom would like more of the global liquefied natural gas market.  Reuters is running images of the village of Muslyumovo, ‘one of Russia’s most lethal nuclear dumping grounds‘.  Bulgaria has thrown its support behind Nabucco, hailing it as a ‘key project‘.