At a ceremony reportedly attended by Vladimir Putin, state oil company Rosneft and Italy’s Eni have signed a partnership agreement to drill for oil and natural gas in the Barents Sea and Black Sea in a project said to be worth $100 billion. A ceremony has been held at the Iraq’s Qurna-2 field to inaugurate the start of commercial production by Russian major Lukoil. The Gulf State’s oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi has said that production at the field was expected to reach 150,000 barrels per day in 2013 and around 500,000 bpd in 2014. Whilst Norway is enjoying its considerable Arctic oil and gas prospects, one problem remains, says Bloomberg: transportation capacity. Royal Dutch Shell has reported an 11% rise in first-quarter profits to $7.7 billion thanks to strong demand and high prices. Iran is reportedly mulling a Russian proposal to halt the amplification of its nuclear program in order to avoid new sanctions.