Russia and China, both commercial partners of Iran, are continuing to resist punitive measures that Washington wants to inflict, for example on Iranian state banks, in relation to suspicions regarding Iran’s potential nuclear programme. Russia has just delivered the fifth batch of nuclear fuel to Iran’s Bushehr plant, with three more to go until the consignment is complete. Gas export monopoly Gazprom said its reserves replacement had exceeded production for the third consecutive year in 2007 as it had discovered 585 billion cubic metres of new reserves. Russia’s United Company RUSAL, which is buying a strategic stake in metals major Norilsk Nickel, is discussing a full buyout or a merger.
Electricite de France, Europe’s largest power producer, has made an offer to buy OAO OGK-1, the biggest remaining Russian electrical producer for sale.Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko opposed calls to charge Russia more to pipe gas across the country to Europe, saying this would lead to a rise in the price Ukraine pays for imported gas for domestic use.World EnergyThe United States has blocked the release of a landmark assessment of oil and gas activity in the Arctic as it prepares to sell off exploration licences for the frozen Chukchi Sea off Alaska, causing “huge frustration”.