Energy Blast, Feb. 19, 2008

A “clear majority” of west Europeans regard Russia as an unreliable energy supplier but remain resistant to paying more for alternative supplies from renewable energy sources. Russia’s largest crude producer Rosneft will spend around $1 billion on hydrocarbon exploration of the western Kamchatka shelf in Far Eastern Russia. Gazprom and Rosneft could work together to develop the Sakhalin-3 energy project. Alexei Miller, Chairman of the Board of Gazprom, will arrive today in Kyrgyzstan for talks on the implementation of a number of joint projects. Ukraine, a key recipient of Turkmen gas through Gazprom, has pledged $300 million in construction projects in the central Asian state.

Dinaz Group, a Latvian oil trading company, is seeking partners to help to build the nation’s first crude oil refinery and a port for exports, and plans to make a joint venture offer to Russia’s Rosneft and BP‘s Russian venture, TNK-BP.World EnergyThe Iranian Oil Bourse, a non-U.S. dollar forum established for the trade of oil, gas and petrochemicals, has opened for business.President Hugo Chavez says that Venezuela could sue ExxonMobil for not paying taxes on some of the oil it produced amid an escalating legal battle with the US giant over compensation over the nationalization of the Cerro negro heavy oil field last year.Indonesia asked its state oil firm Pertamina to prepare to develop the huge natural Natuna D-Alpha gas reserves on its own, “the latest sign it is moving on without former partner Exxon Mobil”.Australian coal producer Resource Pacific said it would accept Xstrata‘s $991 million takeover offer.