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Energy Blast, Feb. 1, 2008

We are planning no radical steps to decrease taxation on the oil industry,” said a spokesman for the Finance Ministry. Russia may raise taxes on the gas industry but has no plans to cut them for the oil sector despite complaints from oil firms that they need more cash for investments. Kommersant reports, however, that the Finance Ministry has acknowledged that the current system of taxation of oil companies is unworkable in the long term, and may revive a seven-year-old bill on the taxation of supplemental income. The International Energy Agency‘s deputy executive director has warned that the EU needs to examine closely Gazprom‘s strategies, saying the company was clearly focusing on acquisitions and not investing in upstream gas supply. Could the sudden recent arrest of Semyon Mogilevich have anything to do with Gazprom‘s recent push to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange?

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) “would like to treat the price at which Gazprom sells natural gas to Europe as a benchmark in defining a price for gas to be delivered through the Altai gas pipeline to China”.The US Commerce Department has announced that the United States will import Russian nuclear fuel under a deal to be signed this week.Russia’s largest independent gas producer, Novatek, of which Gazprom owns 19%, will spend up to $1.5 billion on capital expenditure and hopes to secure a loan of close to $1 billion this year.Russia today has raised its export customs duty on crude oil by $58.4 to $333.8 per tonne.World EnergyRoyal Dutch Shell reported annual profits of $27.6 billion yesterday, “smashing European company records and prompting calls for a windfall tax on “obscene” oil profits.”A subsidiary of Cosmo Oil Co, Japan’s fourth-biggest oil refiner, and the Qatar government, have agreed to develop a new offshore oilfield in Qatar, which is expected to produce 3,000 barrels per day of crude oil from 2010.Venezuelan state-run oil conglomerate Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) agreed to pay $1.1 billion to French Total and Norwegian StatoilHydro as compensation for their reduced stake in strategic partnership Sincor.