Louisiana Oil Industry Recovers From Katrina Devastation

Russia’s Gazprom twice increased natural gas prices charged to its Ukrainian counterpart last week. The initial increase was largely expected, as it represented the removal of a discount offered in conjunction with financial assistance – ie loans – from the Russian government. However, after violent protests led Ukraine’s Russian-leaning president to leave office, Russia rescinded its financial assistance package, which included the gas price discount. But the second price increase is being called a coercive political tactic. “There is no reason why Russia would raise the gas price for Ukraine … other than one – politics,” Yatseniuk told Reuters in an interview in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. [Reuters]

A Vienna-based energy research firm analyzed market impacts associated with lifting US crude oil export restrictions, finding domestic prices and supply/demand fundamentals largely unchanged, while the Brent-WTI differential could narrow to $1/bbl. “Lifting the ban would increase U.S. crude-oil production by about 700,000 barrels a day, raise exports by about 1.5 million barrels a day and push up imports by about 500,000 barrels a day by 2020, JBC estimates. So the net effect on the country’s energy balance sheet is pretty negligible. Global supply wouldn’t change much either, as other producers would adjust, according to JBC.” [Bloomberg]

Skip to the bottom of this piece about last week’s congressional testimony regarding crude oil exports for great commentary from Deborah Gordon, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Energy & Climate Program and Kenneth B. Medlock III, senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. [Oil & Gas Journal]