China and Singapore have ‘significantly reduced’ their imports of Iranian oil, exempting them (along with now 18 other countries) from U.S. sanctions. Rosneft has been relieved of an order to pay pay $340 million worth of loans taken by a unit of Yukos which it acquired after the company was forced into bankruptcy. A Yukos spokesperson noted the verdict as: ‘hardly surprising given the track record it has in relation to cases featuring Yukos since 2004, which invariably results in judgments in favour of Rosneft, its shareholders or other state entities.’ TNK-BP says it was encouraged by results of fracking at an old West Siberian field containing reservers that are difficult to recover, and will launch a pilot project to intensify production for its more challenging reserves. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry is moving to end speculation on the oil price as a means of deciding the budget. An oil spill is threatening the Angara river in Russia’s Irkutsk region. Iraq has granted Bashneft rights to develop its oil block 12.