Energy Blast, March 25, 2008

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says Russia may cut its extraction tax by $4.2 billion a year to help companies boost output. The Turkish Energy Minister officially announced the tender for construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant, and Russia’s Atomstroiexport reportedly confirmed its interest in the project. President Vladimir Putin is lobbying the Iraqi government on behalf of companies trying to get involved in rebuilding Iraq’s oil and gas infrastructure. “I hope the Russian business community’s intent to broaden cooperation will receive appropriate support from the Iraqi leadership,” he said in a letter. LUKoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov arrived in Baghdad for talks to revive a Saddam Hussein-era oil deal.

Not everyone is unhappy with oil at $100-plus a barrel. Authoritarian governments in Iran, Venezuela, Sudan and Russia are pocketing the profits and enjoying the political impunity that comes with such riches.BP‘s Russian oil venture TNK-BP is having problems renewing visas for almost 150 people working on secondment from BP due to recent legal changes.WORLD ENERGYCairn India‘s efforts to raise the nation’s crude oil output has hit another roadblock with the Rajasthan government threatening to stop work on a pipeline needed to transport the precious commodity to refiners, due to potential loss of tax revenues to the state.