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Energy Blast, Jan. 18, 2008

Russia has delivered its third fuel shipment to the Bushehr nuclear power plant it is building in southern Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend six-nation talks in Berlin aimed at solving the international dispute around Iran’s nuclear program later this month. Bulgaria and Russia will sign an agreement on a planned natural-gas pipeline from Russia to the European Union via the Black Sea. The South Stream project is a rival to the planned Nabucco pipeline, which has the backing of the EU and the US. It was predicted that Putin’s trip to Bulgaria might heighten tensions with the EU. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, left Russia after a brief visit with only general assurances on the government’s stance on Iran’s nuclear policy. “We are fulfilling the wishes of our Israeli partners and are taking a firm stance,” said Sergei Lavrov.

Tatneft and Turkmenneft have discussed the current development and prospects for cooperation in implementation of oil and gas projects in Turkmenistan. KazMunaiGas (KMG) and Arabian International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on future joint participation.Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft has halted Russian oil flows via the Caspian Pipeline, which ships mainly Kazakh crude, due to maintenance.World EnergyEcuador will invest $2 billion in its oil industry this year in a bid to increase production by 11%.Should Poland stop burning coal?With immediate effect, British Gas is increasing its household charges for gas and elecricity by 15%.Later this month, the European Commissionis to unveil a comprehensive energy policy that promises to curb climate change, increase energy security, shield economies from volatile fuel prices and foster new industries in which Europe will lead the world.