Moscow and Kiev are contemplating an agreement to divide control of Ukraine’s pipelines between themselves, excluding European participation from a deal aimed at securing gas supplies to European consumers. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has apparently warned that Ukraine may have to continue paying a relatively high price for imported Russian gas in 2012, as a conclusion to gas price talks remains remote. Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft is reportedly now looking for new routes to ship oil from its Caspian pipeline joint venture following Bulgaria’s decision to abandon a trans-Balkan link and the fact that a Turkish project was scrapped for financial reasons. Iran could lose almost 25% of its oil production capacity if tight global sanctions are imposed on the country, says the IEA, while casting doubt on the efficacy of a possible embargo imposed only by the European Union. Russian state-run energy giants Gazprom, Rosneft and LUKoil are apparently considered by Russians to be the state’s best employers. AAR consortium, the Russian co-owners of TNK-BP, who have accused BP of causing damage to the company, may face the same charges, as litigation between the two sides mounts. The joint Russian-British venture will apparently invest up to $10 billion in Arctic oilfield development.