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Energy Blast, Jan. 24, 2008

Russian state Development Bank, also known as VEB, will lend $2 billion to state oil firm Rosneft to help it modernise the Tuapse refinery on the Black Sea. China Oilfield Services says the Russian government has blocked its bid for an oil-well drilling unit of BP’s Moscow-based venture. Russian stocks sank for a seventh day on concern that a weakening economic outlook in the US will hurt demand in the markets, particularly for metals and energy. Oil producers Surgutneftegaz and Tatneftled the declines”. Russia, together with other members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, could announce a cartel similar to OPEC in Moscow in June, already predicted to cause tensions with the West.

The Iranian foreign minister has announced that Iran and Russia are aiming “to seize the largest energy market in Europe.”Following Gazprom’s purchase of a majority stake in TNK-BP, the chief executive of the latter has announced that the two companies could complete a joint venture this year.Russia has shipped 50,000 tons of fuel oil in aid to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, implementing a six-nation agreement on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”We will export via Russia as much crude as the Russian pipeline system can digest,” said Kazakh prime minister Karim Masimov.Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says her government plans to review the tariff paid by Russia for transit of its natural gas across Ukraine to European markets, implying that it should be raised.