Energy Blast, March 17, 2008

Rosneft has completed repayment of the second, $5.2 billion tranche of the short-term loan it raised last year to finance acquisitions. After major campaigning from the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental charities, the British government will now not support Russia’s Sakhalin II project. Germany’s RWE took effective control of TGK-2, one of three large Russian power producers in which stakes were sold by United Energy System, paying just under $400m.

London-listed, Russia-focused oil firm Imperial Energy said Russian authorities have approved the registration of substantial new oil reserves in West Siberia.In relation to its gas dispute with Ukraine, Moscow says that the era of low prices is over for good. Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko has announced that she would like to have long-term contracts with Russia in the natural gas sphere: “for 3 or 5 or maybe even 10 years.”Nuclear-plant operator Rosenergoatom is planning to develop a new generation of atomic plants. Company officials say they want to position Russia as a safe and affordable alternative in developing countries, which are projected to be the fastest-growing nuclear markets.WORLD ENERGYShell pumped far more oil than it discovered last year after its reserves were severely depleted by complications in Russia and Nigeria.“As oil prices charge past $110 a barrel, analysts say government-run investment funds from oil-rich nations may be adding speculative heat to an already red-hot market.” Sovereign wealth funds are “no different than hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors”.