At times the European Gas Conference in Vienna felt more like a television dating gameshow than a humdrum industry get-together.
It is make-or-break-time for Europe’s ambition to open up the so-called “Southern Corridor” – the bid to access alternative gas supplies in the Caspian region (which holds one quarter of the world’s reserves) and thereby break the continent’s dependency on Russian gas.
Last night, we reported that Igor Sechin, the Russian energy tsar, Rosneft chairman and deputy prime minister, had moved to damp down a brewing rebellion from BP’s Russian partners in TNK-BP against the Rosneft tie-up.
Well, it didn’t work. This morning it emerged that AAR has filed for an injuction at the High Court in London, claiming, the deal “may have been a breach” of BP’s existing shareholder agreement to pursue projects in Russia and Ukraine exclusively through TNK-BP.
Sechin insisted at Davos,
We consulted with BP and it is their opinion that they acted in line with the law. We don’t see a problem here.
But BP shareholders are obviously a little concerned. On an otherwise positive day for the FTSE100 and oil stocks, BP’s shares have slipped 0.5 per cent.
Earlier, I promised you the reaction of the oil industry to the call by Barack Obama to end its subsidies.
Well, here is the API’s full reaction, courtesy of Jack Gerard, the organisation’s chief:
Many thanks for all your questions for Ian Simm, chief executive of Impax Asset Management. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, January 28th.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be James Cameron, vice chairman of Climate Change Capital, the investment manager specialising in carbon markets and clean tech companies.
Cameron is also one of the green industry’s most high-profile advocates, and this is your chance to ask him about everything from the carbon price to the success of the Cancun climate talks. He will have just returned from Davos, so can give an insider’s view on all the wheeling, dealing and gossip that happened there.
Email all your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Sunday, January 30th.
Yesterday I blogged on what Carol Browner’s departure could mean for green policies under the Obama administration. Environmentalists were worried that this showed a shift by the White House away from tackling climate change and towards appeasing business.
They needn’t have worried. In the president’s State of the Union Address last night, he spent a considerable amount of time stressing his commitment to clean energy, and making some important and concrete pledges at the same time.
Calling this “our Sputnik moment”, Obama said:
We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.