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Energy Blast, Jan. 25, 2008

Gazprom’s acquisition of a majority stake in NIS is Russia’s “first big reward for supporting Serbia in trying to stop Kosovo from declaring unilateral independence”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asked Libya to release the head of oil giant Lukoil‘s overseas office in Libya who was detained in late 2007 and reportedly involved in a commercial spy case. The United States agreed to join an energy summit in Kiev later this year, a move that supports Ukraine‘s attempts to arrange alternatives to Russian supplies of crude oil and natural gas. Russia’s oil exports to China in 2007 amounted to 14.5 million tonnes, 9% lower than in 2006. New data from the Fuel and Energy Dispatch Cente says that Russian oil companies increased exploration drilling by 20.6% in 2007. Russia-focused Imperial Energy said its Russian-registered hydrocarbon reserves grew 229% last year to 372 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Kazakh state oil and gas company Kazmunaigas says it plans to raise its fee for the transit of Turkmen and Uzbek gas to Russia to $1.4 per 1,000 cubic metres across 100 km from $1.1.Russian generator OGK-4, controlled by Germany’s E.ON, expects at least $61 million net profit in 2008.Russian steel maker Evraz Group has completed its $564.8 million acquisition of Delaware-based steel plate producer Claymont Steel Holdings.World EnergyFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy, “seeking to cement political and business ties with a booming India,” has voiced support for New Delhi’s controversial nuclear deal with the United States.Analysts believe that smaller companies in the US oil services sector will need to start looking internationally at possible acquisitions of their overseas counterparts to combat a slower North American market, fierce competition and higher overhead costs.China Petrochemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec, has announced that the nation’s second largest oil field’s proven oil reserve was 11.79% higher than previously thought.