Energy Blast – Oct 18, 2010

Rosatom will build Venezuela’s first nuclear power plant, in exchange for licenses allowing Rosneft and TNK-BP to purchase various assets in Europe and South America.  After seven hours of talks last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez sealed a $19.4 billion deal with Belarus to supply gas for three years from 2011, and promised that ‘Belarussian refineries will have no shortages for the next 200 years‘.  A new gas supply deal between Russia and Poland conforms to EU rules, says Reuters, easing worries about supply disruptions over the winter.  France’s Total has halted all trade in oil products with Iran, thanks to pressure from European (and not US) law.  As next month’s US elections and a potential reshuffling of the Senate loom, the need to ratify the new START treaty becomes more urgent.  Turkmenistan is touting its new gas pipeline as ‘a vivid example of mutually beneficial cooperation between Turkmenistan and Russia‘. The FT reports on the current phenomenon of low prices for natural gas in the US, and the pressure they are exerting on producers.