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Russian Oil Company Lukoil Seeks Re-Entry to Iraq

Russia, blindsided by the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, is seeking to revive previous Iraqi opportunities.
Excluded from Iraq by the U.S.-led March 2003 invasion, Russia’s Lukoil is planning to invest $3.5 billion in Iraq’s West Qurnah-2 deposits by 2013.
Russian Natural Resources Minister Iuri Trutnev announced the investment following discussions with Iraqi Oil Minister Abd-al-Karim al-Lu'aybi.
If all goes according to plan, Lukoil hopes by 2018 to be extracting 95 million tons a year at the West Qurnah-2 field, Interfax news agency reported.

Pentagon’s "Operational Energy Strategy" Promotes Energy Reform

The U.S. Defense Department is the U.S. government’s largest energy consumer, using 300,000 barrels of oil (bpd) per day.
Seeking changes in how it procures its energy supplies, the Pentagon recently released its “Operational Energy Strategy,” promoting conservation, diversity of sourcing and biofuels.
An increasing concern of the Defense Department is the rising casualty rate among U.S. troops tasked to guard fuel supplies in Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan's Tengizchevroil to Expand Oil Production

Kazakhstan’s Tengizchevroil has announced plans to invest $20 billion to expand oil production at its Tengiz (Kazakh for ‘sea”) oil field.
The Tengiz “super” oil field is one of the largest hydrocarbon discoveries in recent history. Atyrau, 220 miles north of Tengiz, is the main transport hub for Tengiz oil, which is shipped via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline to Russia’s Novorossiisk oil terminus on the Sea of Azov for tanker transshipment.
Estimated to contain up to 25 billion barrels of oil, Tengiz is the sixth largest oil field in the world.

Fallout From Fukushima Rattles Australia's Uranium Mining Industry

The slow-motion Japanese Fukushima reactor debacle has sent ripples worldwide, with Germany, Switzerland and Italy all now deciding to exit nuclear power.
The downturn in European interest in nuclear energy has now impacted Australia, the world’s third largest exporter of uranium oxide after Canada and Kazakhstan.
There are currently five operating uranium mines in Australia producing roughly 10,000 tons of ore in 2010, worth over $1.6 billion.

Russia Remains Committed to Burgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoli Ianovskii told journalists during an Energy Ministry conference at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum that Russia remains committed to the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
Speaking at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum Ianovskii said, "We are a country that has signed an intergovernmental agreement. We are strictly adhering to what we signed. As far as I understand, the Bulgarian public is looking very closely at the project's environmental impact.

Zimbabwe's Biodiesel Industry in Trouble

Biofuels have been heavily promoted in the hydrocarbon-poor third world as both a fuel source and a valuable earner of foreign currency.
Now however, The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is seeking to sell is 50 percent holding of Transload (Pvt) Limited, a biodiesel fuel manufacturing joint venture between Zimbabwe and South Korea’s Yuon Woo Investments.

Chinese Dam and Pipeline Projects Raise Burmese Tensions

Lucrative China-backed hydropower projects are raising tensions along Burma’s northern border with China.
Environmental groups claim that the Burmese government's against armed ethnic groups along its northern frontier is intended to provide security around the China-backed energy projects, the Democratic Voice of Burma Online reported.

Natural Gas Issues Inflame Palestinian-Israeli Dispute

Massive potential natural gas fields off the Gaza Strip in the Mediterranean are complicating Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiations.
Earlier this week Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure authorized Noble Energy, a crude oil and gas exploration U.S. based company based in New York, to begin developing a natural gas field off the Gaza Strip coastline, the Palestine News Network reported.

Argentina Now Receiving 40 Percent of Chinese Regional Investments

In Argentina Mandarin Chinese is now the main language in use in local petroleum companies, which are dominated by Chinese buyers. During the period June 2010 through May 2011 Argentina attracted 40 percent of the Chinese investments in Latin America, amounting to $15.584 billion, according to a study by the U.S. Deloitte consulting firm. "China is focusing on the natural resources industry and it is now also gaining ground in Latin America. A good part of those operations were in the energy and natural resources sector," reported Deloitte.