Energy Blast, Jan. 4, 2007

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says that Russia will not be affected by changes in oil prices, as it has “prepared” for fluctuations with a strong reserve. Lukoil and Gazprom have established a Regional Development joint venture to focus on a number of development and implementation aspects, including exploration and production of hydrocarbons. Gazprom says it wants to claim 10% of the French gas market within four to five years.

World EnergyDigging up Canadian oil sands is the West’s “best chance of avoiding total dependence on Opec and Russia for our fuel needs over the coming decade.”E.on‘s proposals for a cleaner coal power station has been given approval but could face a public inquiry, as green campaigners respond “furiously” to the news.Venezuela’s oil industry declined by 5.3% in 2007.The budgets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could be opened to public scrutiny, allowing the public to check the company’s adherence to corporate social responsibility commitments.Iran has warned Shell that it will not extend its project planning deadline on the South Pars development project.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says it cannot tame oil price rises because they are “not a result of supply problems”. The Economist is running a story on rising prices and supply.Australian coal miner Resource Pacific has called an $842 million bid from Swiss-based mining group Xstrataneither fair nor reasonable”.A Danish group has made an “encouragingdiscovery of oil in the North Sea.