Energy Blast, Jan. 23, 2008

Gazprom has taken advantage of the disarray inside the European Union by forging ahead with its own contracts with Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and now Serbia.” Serbia announced that Gazprom bought a 51% stake in NIS, its oil monopoly. Komi Regiongas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom, has offered to buy all gas produced by Aladdin Oil and Gas at the Middle Sedolskoye field in Russia. There is a “95% chance” that Russia’s United Company RUSAL, the world’s top primary aluminium producer, will move its initial public offering of shares from London to Hong Kong, because investors there are “more hungry”. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, says that Iran will be ready to answer all questions concerning its nuclear program within the next few weeks.

Russia’s Belon Group raised coal output 37% last year after upgrading one of its mines and says output will rise a further 50% in 2008.World EnergyJosé Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, said that the cost of tough new emissions targets the proposals across all member states would be €60 billion.Nigeria has warned energy companies it wants to complete its planned renegotiation of contracts covering offshore oilfields in the next three months, saying record prices mean western groups are having “a ball”.China National Offshore Oil Corp, the parent of CNOOC Ltd, said negotiations with Iran over the supply of gas are ongoing, “but there is no timetable for concluding a deal.”TransCanada Corp says ConocoPhillips has acquired a 50% stake in the 3,456-kilometre Keystone oil pipeline, as planned.A “gigantic” new deposit of natural gas has been discovered near the shores of Brazil by national oil company PetroBraz.