Gazprom, the Russian energy group, announced today that it had entered the US market through the trading and marketing of natural gas via Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA.
It is perhaps ironic that Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Eni, was discussing the company’s South Stream gas pipeline venture in Moscow when Knight Vinke, the activist investor, launched its attack yesterday.
The Moscow discussions raised the prospect of a third partner joining South Stream. The WSJ reports that the interested party is EDF, the French utility.
While Mr Scaroni was meeting his counterpart at Gazprom in Moscow, back in Milan Knight Vinke, which says it owns about 1 per cent of Eni, held a press conference to announce that the Italian energy group needed to break up in order to realise its full value. In fact, Knight Vinke believes Eni could squeeze out an extra 50bn Euros in value by splitting its upstream and oil assets from its gas and power division.
Crude oil prices dipped after rising by more than $3 a barrel in the previous session, following the latest US inventories data.
Nymex November West Texas Intermediate fell 61 cents to $70.00 a barrel and ICE November Brent lost 50 cents at $68.57 a barrel.
For years now, Houston has been known as the energy capital of the world. When renewables started to appear on the horizon, many in the Lone Star State feared Texas’s days in that leadership capacity were numbered. People increasingly said they no longer wanted to rely on fossil fuels and particularly oil – the stuff Texas was famous for.
Fast forward a few years and it is clear Texans are much more than just a bunch of oil men, they are entrepreneurs.