SOUTH STREAM DESPITE
Russian and international oil and gas majors are cooperating as usual despite sanctions imposed over Ukraine and Russia's South Stream gas pipeline project is going ahead, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.
"There is no sense behind talk of the severing of relations... They express their desire to invest in Russia," Novak told reporters when asked if sanctions had hit energy cooperation.
The world's top crude oil producer and a leader in natural gas, Russia has signed deals with international majors on developing energy resources, mainly in the offshore Arctic region.
Top Russian oil firm Rosneft has signed agreements with ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil and its biggest shareholder after the state is London-based BP .
BP boss Bob Dudley said this week that Western sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine had not impacted the company's business in Russia.
Ben van Beurden, the new boss of Royal Dutch Shell, which holds a stake in Russia's only liquefied natural gas producing plant, is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in a sign of the company's commitment to its business in the country.
The minister also said the 2,400-kilometre (1,490-mile) South Stream pipeline from Russia via the Black Sea to southern Europe, avoiding Ukraine, would proceed.
"The project is being implemented on the basis of agreements between the countries. According to international law, these agreements cannot be suspended. We have been in consultations with the European Commission over South Stream, the work is going on," Novak said.
Doubts have been raised about the future of the project since Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, a move that has angered both the EU and Washington.
The EU's approvals process regarding South Stream has been put on hold, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger said.
Hoping to build the pipeline is a consortium including Russian gas exporter Gazprom as well as European partners Wintershall, Eni and EDF.
South Stream is designed to carry more than 63 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe a year by the end of the decade, meeting up to 15 percent of Europe's needs.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.