Energy Blast, Feb. 25, 2008

Deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev is in Serbia today, supposedly to focus on South Stream, a €10 billion ($14.65 billion) project designed to bring Siberian gas to Europe via the Black Sea, but also as a show of support after Russia supported the Balkan nation’s opposition to the independence of Kosovo. The Bush administration has urged the EU to “stop dithering” over the building of the $6bn Nabucco gas pipeline from the Caspian basin to central Europe, and reduce its growing dependence on Gazprom. “Gazprom is an instrument of Russian foreign policy, like American oil companies are instruments of American foreign policy.Gazprom has reported an agreement to explore and develop energy reserves in Iran, saying it will work with Iranian companies to develop the South Pars field, and will carry out about $110 million worth of exploration work in Libya after signing a production sharing agreement with the Libyan government.

The EU has been trying to sort out a way to source its gas supply without crossing Russian territory. But Russia has just signed a pipeline deal with Bulgaria that effectively makes that plan economically impossible.”World EnergyLibya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) has ratified a gas-focused exploration agreement with PGNiG in which the Polish company committed to drilling at least eight wells at a cost of $108 million.PetroChina, China’s largest oil firm, withdrew its bid for an offshore oil block in Nigeria offered by Royal Dutch Shell just a few months after offshore specialist CNOOC withdrew its bid for the block.