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Centrica extends supply deals with Gazprom and Statoil
Millions of UK households are to receive more gas sourced from the Russian state-controlled energy group Gazprom after Centrica, owner of British Gas, agreed to buy greater volumes from the group’s marketing arm.
Fracking holds promise of unlocking 140bn barrels of reserves across globe, says report
Fracking, which is blamed by some for causing earthquakes in the US, could unlock nearly 140bn barrels of global oil supplies – equivalent to Russia’s known reserves, says a study.
Companies and Markets
Nissan and Toyota broaden recall over faulty airbags to another 6.6m vehicles
Two of Japan’s biggest carmakers are expanding recalls to replace potentially faulty airbags made by Takata, a Tokyo manufacturer, deepening a safety crisis that is set to affect 30m vehicles worldwide.
Osborne tempts northern cities with more powers
George Osborne will drive the Conservatives’ political offensive father into Labour’s urban heartlands today, challenging cities to follow Manchester’s lead in agreeing to new elected mayors in return for greater powers and funding.
Labour abandons leader’s selection until autumn as old guard join race
Labour will select its new leader in September, it was announced yesterday, after the party abandoned attempts to hold a speedy contest. Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, became the third candidate to enter the race to succeed Ed Miliband before Yvette Cooper last night declared that she would also take part in the contest.
Car dealers gear up for a second-hand bonus
A flood of nearly new second-hand cars – coupled with demand for internet shopping delivery vans – is putting a fortune into the pockets Britain’s smooth-talking motor salesmen (Robert Lea writes). One of the country’s leading car retailers has reported that business is booming on the back of used cars coming on to the market because of short-term new car “purchase” plans, rising van sales and new cars being diverted to Britain from the collapsed Russian market.
Legal and political minefield stands between Tories and exit from the ECHR
In their 80-page manifesto, the Conservatives dedicated fewer than 50 words to a subject that is set to become the biggest test of David Cameron’s authority and the Tories’ small Parliamentary majority. “The next Conservative Government,” it said, “will scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights.”
Gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom giant to soar after new Centrica deal
Britain’s dependence on Russian energy is set to grow after Centrica announced a deal to increase significantly the amount of gas it buys from Gazprom to 4.16 billion cubic metres a year.
An expanding Europe welcomes ‘Mainhattan’
The International Motor Show, the world’s largest, is in September. As Hubert Vaeth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, said in an address last year: “The ‘Made in Germany’ hallmark stands for quality workmanship, reliability and stability – and this applied to the services of the German financial sector just as much as to machines and cars.”
US downgrades oil forecast as surplus remains
The US government has downgraded its forecast for oil production for the next two years as the world’s top energy watchdog warned that the market is still oversupplied with crude. The US Department of Energy now expects oil production growth of 530,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from 550,000 bpd this year, while in 2016 growth will slump to 20,000 bpd from a previous forecast of 80,000 bpd.
Eurozone growth outpaces Britain and US – but the future is uncertain
Eurozone growth leapt ahead of the UK and US during the first three months of the year after cheap oil, a weak currency and a huge injection of funds by the European Central Bank pushed growth to 0.4%. With only four countries slipping backwards, 19-member Eurozone recovery outstripped the 0.3% growth rate recorded by Britain and 0.2% by the US.