EU, Ukraine And Russia Continue Negotiations Over Natural Gas Shipments

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller (2nd from R) attends press conferences following talks between Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger over the future of Russian natural gas deliveries to Ukraine

Natural gas supply negotiations between Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Nagtogaz appear to be inching closer to a deal. In fact, the two sides have agreed on a price of $385 per thousand cubic meters, but payment details now appear to be a sticking point. “If the Ukrainians have the money, then the documents will be signed. If not, then we will wait,” said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. [Reuters via Moscow Times]

A viral Greenpeace video apparently influenced Lego to terminate a marketing arrangement with Shell in which gasoline customers received free Lego sets upon filling up with at least 7 gallons of fuel. Greenpeace was appalled that Big Oil was using children’s toys to sell more gasoline, but the US refining lobby AFPM details how petrochemicals are the building blocks of, well, Lego’s building blocks. “Acrylonitrile uses propylene as a building block. Propylene is a base petrochemical and can be manufactured using propane from natural gas liquids or naphtha, a byproduct of oil refining, as feedstock materials. Butadiene is a base petrochemical obtained by steam cracking using butane, which is also found in natural gas liquids, as a feedstock. Styrene is made using ethylene and benzene as starting materials. Ethylene uses ethane from natural gas liquids or naphtha as a feedstock and benzene is a byproduct from oil refining. So in short, no petrochemicals, no Legos.” [AFPM Petro Primer Blog]

German auto giant Daimler invested in Tesla at a critical moment in the EV startup’s brief history, and yesterday sold its remaining interest in the growing company. “Daimler’s move away from Tesla could be interpreted in a few ways. Tesla’s stock was sky high earlier this year and trading up over $290 per share a couple months ago. But in recent months the stock has dropped and is trading at $232.42 as of today. Perhaps Daimler’s financial team thinks the stock has reached its peak.” [Gigaom]