Yukos Oil and Gas Company

The EU further ratcheted up sanctions against Russia’s oil sector targeting Gazpromneft, Transneft and Rosneft with measures that will prevent the firms from raising capital in EU member states. The economic restrictions again fall short of squeezing Russia’s natural gas industry upon which many European companies closely rely. [Wall Street Journal]

European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said the EU is working on plans to ensure uninterrupted gas flow this winter and preparing for the worst should Russia shut the taps. “An analysis is being conducted with the gas industry and with Member States,” said Oettinger, “but also with the Western Balkans, Switzerland and Turkey into energy security, not because we are expecting the worst case scenario, but in order to be ready if Ukraine fails to meet its obligations or if Russia were to block gas exports to Europe.” Although the South Stream pipeline would open a new Russian gas supply route, the transport system is reportedly being “well received” as it bypasses Ukraine and will allow non-Russian suppliers to utilize the line. [About Oil]

Brent crude oil futures hit their lowest levels since 2013 in recent trading on weaker Chinese demand expectations and comfortable global supply levels despite considerable geopolitical upheaval in strategic producing regions. [Bloomberg]