Russia to Profit from BP Furore?

Josh Noble writes today, on the Financial Times’ blog pages, about the positive effect that the fallout from the BP oil spill could have on Russia.  Tighter regulations will lead to higher production costs and, therefore, a higher average oil price, he says.  Noble is quoting a Uralsib (i.e. Russian) source, who also suggests that more US regulation hurdles could drive customers to seek an easier deal in Russia.  But this kind of analysis seems a little too macrocosmic to hold much weight, as Noble himself suggests.  Is tighter US regulation really going to drive cautious business leaders into Russia, if they already hold reservations about the prospects of long-term investment there?

Tim Ash at RBS seems pretty unconvinced. The Russian economy is not doing well despite low base effects, a massive fiscal stimulus and relatively high oil prices, he says. 

Sarah Palin, not known for her light touch regarding energy matters, apparently holds the same opinion as the Uralsib source…which suggests that it might be best taken with a pinch of salt.