‘It’s not hard to see why Vladimir Putin saw fit to take precious time out today in the aftermath of Russia’s controversial parliamentary elections last Sunday to meet with Venezuela’s vice-president, Elias Jaua’, says the Financial Times – it’s all about oil. Reuters comments on a new report which suggests that China will eschew a gas deal with Gazprom, instead seeking bilateral cooperation with Turkmenistan or even the United States to meet its import needs. Introverted Myanmar apparently hopes to open up its energy market, but investors remain chary of the regime, says this article. Italian energy major Eni apparently hopes nearly $2 billion of Iranian crude it is still owed by the National Iranian Oil Company will be exempt from any possible EU ban on buying Iranian oil. According to Reuters, a Syrian pipeline carrying crude from oilfields in the east of the country has been blown up near the restive city of Homs.