Energy Blast – Nov 5, 2009

Naftogaz Ukrainy has apparently released a statement admitting that a ‘dire economic situation’ means that the company is struggling to pay its October gas bill.  The Moscow Times reports however that Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Prodan has assured Russia that it will pay its $470 million bill on time – although there are hints that it will have to borrow the money – possibly from Moscow.  According to Reuters, the new gas deal between Polish and Russian companies will be approved within weeks.  Total and Statoil have both recorded a steep decline in third-quarter profits.  Lukoil will expand its trading business in the Asian zone, especially in naphtha and fuel oil, in the first six months of 2010.  A factbox on the buying and selling of European refineries here.  Gazprom has apparently made a significant find off the northwest coast of Venezuela.  The FT reports on a possible gas surplus that may challenge Russian energy hegemony, thus destabilizing its political clout.  Why tackling climate change is not in Russia’s interests, from TIME magazine.