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Energy Blast, March 18, 2008

Russia’s former power monopoly Unified Energy System has lowered the valuation of power supply company MosEnergoSbyt to $944.3 million. UES initially said MosEnergoSbyt was worth $1.3 billion. Gazprom may be forced to allow other companies to use its pipeline network to export natural gas from Russia. Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is preparing to send amendments to the law “On Gas Export” to the government in May that would grant non-state Russian gas producers access to Gazprom’s export routes. Bolivia hopes to meet its supply commitments to neighboring countries now that a natural gas prospecting deal has been signed between Gazprom and YPFB, Bolivia’s state-owned energy company. Gazprom is also increasingly looking to South American markets, with focus on cooperation talks with Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

WORLD ENERGYAs crude oil prices hit a record high, Japan’s largest refiner Nippon Oil Corp is considering a merger with rival Kyushu Oil Co.Belarus withdrew its ambassador to Washington and told the US to withdraw its envoy in Minsk on March 7, a day after sanctions on oil and petrochemical company Belneftekhim were strengthened.The British government are giving enthusiastic backing to the idea of a new generation of nuclear reactors being built in the UK. British Energy, which already owns eight of the country’s functioning nuclear reactors, is in talks with potential partners about building more. But energy companies are concerned about the prospect of a takeover of British Energy, fearing it could lead to one company having a monopoly over the best UK sites for new nuclear reactors.