Hungary will join Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline project to transport Russian natural gas across the Black Sea to the Balkans and on to other European countries, after an agreement was signed by Dmitry Medvedev last night. Critics say the deal is being pursued by Moscow “to disrupt the European Union’s attempts to form a common energy policy”. Serbia will also be involved in the deal. Tax authorities have presented oil firm Slavneft, controlled by Gazprom and BP‘s Russian venture TNK-BP, with a back tax claim of $10 million. Gazprombank, the banking arm of Gazprom, plans to secure a syndicated loan of $450 million before the end of March. The funds will be used to refinance debt and for corporate operating expenses.
World EnergyAt $100 a barrel, Morgan Stanley estimates that the value of the world’s proven oil reserves stands at $121 trillion, and that as much as $2 trillion of petrodollars earned by the world’s oil exporters will need to be invested this year.Controversially, Egypt has started exporting gas to Israel in accordance with a 2005 deal. Egyptian opposition MPs have said that, by supplying Israel, the Egyptian government is committing a “crime” against the Palestinian people.A formal agreement on gas supply between Iran and Pakistan is likely to be signed next month, with the gas supply from Iran forecasted to begin in September 2012.