Kyrgyzstan: Progress on hydroelectric plants halted

Investment in hydroelectricity in Kyrgyzstan has come to a standstill and the government has announced that it is courting new investment partners. A new report published by The Diplomat and a recent government announcement indicate that the country will look beyond Russia, its traditional partner in hydroelectric development, for financing due to ambiguous signs coming…

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US gas exports to Lithuania threatens Russian monopoly

For the first time, US export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe will be delivered to Lithuania, a shot across the bow in challenging Russia’s land-locked pipelines that supply Europe with a third of its total natural gas. The delivery will head to the Baltic country in February, transported by tanker to custom built…

Iran to Announce New Oil Contracts by End of 2015

The Iranian government plans to release new oil contracts by the end of 2015, according to Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh. The announcement will come at a year-end conference in London, the minister said, and will include at least 50 new oil and gas projects worth an estimated $185 billion. The contracts will form…

Iran: Western Oil Majors Meet with Government in Tehran

Representatives from several Western oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell and Eni recently held meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran. The meetings are the first of their kind following the tentative Iranian nuclear framework deal, and demonstrate the existing level of interest in the Iranian nuclear program. According to Shell representatives, the recent meetings revolved…

Making Sense of the Ruble’s Roller Coaster: An Interview with Chris Weafer

Christopher Weafer is the founder of Macro-Advisory, a research consulting company focusing on Russia, the CIS, and macro oil trends and was recently in 2013 voted the best Russian investment strategist in a poll by Thomas Reuters Extel. Before becoming a consultant, Chris was Chief Strategist at Sberbank-CIB, Russia’s largest bank. He also writes extensively…

CASA-1000 Final Deal Signing Imminent

Sources close to the CASA-1000 negotiations indicate that the deal will finally be signed today or tomorrow in Istanbul. Officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are set to convene anew to finalize the terms of the much-discussed but frequently-delayed hydroelectric transmission project. According to these same sources, one two of the major factors still being…

Russia: EU pursues anti-trust suit against Gazprom

Today, EU antitrust regulators have made the case the Gazprom has abused its dominance over European natural gas markets. The European Commission said that unfair pricing has resulted in higher gas prices in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – most of which are almost 100% dependent on imported Russian natural gas. Regulators assert a…

Gazprom Reports Loss of 70% in 2014

Russian energy giant Gazprom saw its profits drop by 70% in 2014. The drop is doubtless due to the sharp drop in the value of the Russian ruble, low oil prices and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Gazprom has been at the center of the conflict in the Ukraine, as its supply of natural gas…