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Energy Blast, April 3, 2008

Swiftly following Vladimir Putin’s meeting with a group of Italian businessmen, Italian power company Enel has announced that it plans to invest around €9 billion ($14 billion) in the Russian economy over the next five years. The staff at OGK-4 and OGK-5, both bought out this year by European investors, are complaining of heavy-handedness from their foreign owners. Evraz, a Russian coal producer and steel maker, said annual profit rose 53% on 2006, to $2.2 billion. One British journalist builds a case against shifting to coal. Gazprom has placed $1.5 billion in Eurobonds under its program of foreign borrowing to raise funds for corporate development and short-term debt refinancing. The Chief Executive of BP is on his way to Moscow for a meeting with Gazprom. Industry sources say that security officers who raided TNK-BP‘s headquarters last month were looking for files relating to Gazprom. The company’s Director General, Alexander Medvedev, has announced that “Russia is the only country that can substantially increase gas supply to Europe”.

RusAl miners on strike in a town north of Yekaterinburg say they are the company’s “hostages”.WORLD ENERGYNorwegian independent oil producer DNO is “quite confident” it will get a license to export oil from Iraq in 2008, which would make it the first western oil company to begin new exploration and production in the country post-war.In “the first example of the credit crunch squeezing the oil and gas industry”, Imperial Energy, the UK-based, Russia-focused oil company, said that problems in global credit markets had forced it to shelve plans for a debt financing and to opt instead for a $600 million rights issue.