Energy Blast, Feb. 28, 2008

The Russia-Ukraine gas saga continues. Although 2007 gas debts have been paid, Gazprom now says it will cut off supplies next week unless the government signs documents on debt payment and future deliveries. Ukraine refuses to pay some $80 million for natural gas consumed in 2006 because Moscow is asking it to pay for those supplies at the 2007 prices. Brussels likened Gazprom to a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) and warned of a new age of industrial espionage unless its funds were subject to greater scrutiny and disclosure rules. Officials at Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures left for Russia this week, reportedly in order to meet representatives of Gazprom with the aim of making progress on an agreement for the supply of natural gas from Russia to Israel.

WORLD ENERGYIberdrola of Spain has stepped up its pre-emptive attack against EDF by filing a formal complaint against the French state-controlled electricity group with the European Commission. Iberdrola claims EDF is illegally “shielded” by the French state against foreign shareholders.Georgia will soon announce a licensing tender for six oil and gas blocks. Georgian state-owned company Saknavtobi estimates that potential oil and gas reserves on the blocks could amount to 400 million tons.French oil group Total has received government clearance to begin developing the Nigerian Usan offshore oilfield with its partners.