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Energy Blast, Feb. 8, 2008

Gazprom has threatened to halt fuel supplies to Ukraine unless the country settles a $1.5 billion debt or offers assurances that it will pay. Naftogaz Ukrayny, Ukraine’s state fuel company, denied it owes Gazprom $500 million for additional natural-gas deliveries. Italy’s minister for economic development said there was no concern over the safety Italian gas imports from Russia in light of the news. Gazprom is planning to sign an agreement with ExxonMobil, the Sakhalin-1 project’s main shareholder, on the sale and purchase of natural gas produced at the project. Russian oil major LUKOIL will acquire control of 8 gas fields in Uzbekistan with reserves of 100 billion cubic meters from another firm, SoyuzNefteGaz.

Russia’s former electricity monopoly, Unified Energy System, will accept bids for the government’s stake in power producer TGK-2 until March 6.World EnergyStatoilHydro was the highest bidder on 16 Chukchi Sea leases offshore Alaska, 14 of them in partnership with Italy’s ENI.Iran has reportedly begun to deploy a new generation of centrifuge machinery to produce nuclear fuel.