Chinese studies from a few years ago suggest that ‘the South China Sea may hold 213 billion barrels of oil, or 80 percent of Saudi Arabia’s reserves’, and regional tensions over large-scale drilling are escalating, says Bloomberg. Germany’s RWE says it has managed to end a number of long-term gas contracts that tied gas prices to the price of oil and helped it lose ‘hundreds of millions of euros’. The savings from RWE’s negotiated contracts with Gazprom ‘will only begin to impact earnings in 2012 and 2013’. Russia may agree to help Iran build more nuclear plants at Bushehr, as scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko denies helping Iran develop the technology necessary for building a nuclear weapon. TNK-BP’s $2.8 billion minority shareholders lawsuit against BP has been rejected by a Siberian court, apparently because the plaintiffs own less than 1% of the former’s shares. As President Dmitry Medvedev urges a boost for Arctic investment, the Guardian reports that Russia’s plans to start prospecting for minerals, oil and gas in the Antarctic ‘would jeopardise the Antarctic’s special legal status and go against the Madrid protocol, which makes this near-virgin territory a “natural reserve devoted to peace and science”.’ It is thought that Russia will try to build energy relations with Asia during this weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that OPEC ‘is sometimes irritated by Russia’. Chinese refiner Sinopec will buy 30% of the Brazilian assets of Portugal’s Galp Energia for $5.2 billion.