Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has inaugurated a domestic gas pipeline on the Pacific coast, from the island of Sakhalin to the mainland port of Vladivostok, to help develop the regional economy and meet increasing energy demand from Asia. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said that a huge gas pipeline project involving Russia and the two Koreas could progress ‘faster than expected’ as the benefits for all concerned are manifest. The Ukraine-Russia gas spat rumbles on: President Dmitry Medvedev has criticized as ‘outrageous’ Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych comments that the natural-gas agreement between the two countries is ‘unfair’ and the ‘work of the devil’. The Telegraph reports on the findings of a new probe into the dubious operations of TNK-BP, which have led to 37 criminal cases involving employees and contractors this year. See here a timeline of the British major’s perilous interaction with the Russian market. Russia’s competition body has approved a request from top crude producer Rosneft to acquire more offshore assets, following the company’s deal last week with Exxon Mobil to extract oil and gas from the Russian Arctic. Russia will sell up to 15% of the company for more than $6.77 billion in 2012 as part of a broader privatisation drive.