Energy Blast, Jan. 21, 2008

Carrying posters reading “Stop Soviet Imperialism” and “Putin – Out of Bulgaria,” hundreds of Bulgarians have protested against Russia’s energy policy, which they fear will make their country completely dependent on Russian oil and gas sources. Unified Energy System, which has until July 1 to sell all of its assets, has failed to auction off eight out of nine of its supply firms, casting doubt on its ambitious schedule of company sell-offs. Stocks in Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz and Gazprom Neft all fell after oil prices sank below $90 a barrel in New York for the first time this year.

The UK is seeing a significant rise in energy prices, fueling the case for nuclear energy. “Gas-fired power stations, which are increasingly dependent on gas supplies from Russia and the Middle East, are the most expensive.”Imperial Energy, the London-based oil explorer “accused by Russia of inflating reserves”, plans to pump 60,000 barrels of crude a day by the end of 2010 after exceeding its production target for 2007.France’s Gaz de France is in talks with Russia’s N.2 oil firm LUKOIL to jointly bid for control of power generator TGK-10.World EnergyBritain could soon harness the flow of high pressure gas from fields into the national pipeline network to generate carbon-free electricity, after the government confirmed its support for geopressure technology.China Coal Energy has launched a Shanghai share sale to raise over $4.1 billion.Indian refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals will form a joint venture with the Indian unit of Royal Dutch Shell to sell jet fuel in southern India.