Friday, Aug 29, 2008
Fears are mounting that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and Nato naval actions in the Black Sea.
Any such move would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgia crisis and play havoc with the oil markets.
Reports have begun to circulate in Moscow that Russian oil companies are under orders from the Kremlin to prepare for a supply cut to Germany and Poland through the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline. It is believed that executives from lead-producer LUKoil have been put on weekend alert.
“They have been told to be ready to cut off supplies as soon as Monday,” claimed a high-level business source, speaking to The Daily Telegraph. Any move would be timed to coincide with an emergency EU summit in Brussels, where possible sanctions against Russia are on the agenda.
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Any evidence that the Kremlin is planning to use the oil weapon to intimidate the West could inflame global energy markets. US crude prices jumped to $119 a barrel yesterday on reports of hurricane warnings in the Gulf of Mexico, before falling back slightly.
This article was posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 at 3:34 am