Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko speculates that pipeline natural gas from Russia to South Korea could become a serious competitor to the LNG deal brokered between Korea Gas Corp, Shell and Total. The long-delayed Gazprom platform, which has finally set out for its Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea, should allow it to start production there early next year. Russia will hold its second Arctic forum in Arkhangelsk next month; it is expected that discussion will focus on the creation of infrastructure. The ramping up of oil production at the Verkhnechonsk field (joint-run by TNK-BP and Rosneft) is causing a glut of natural gas, much of which is having to be flared. Could Vladimir Putin be called in as a witness to the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, who stands accused of damaging Ukraine’s economy for signing gas supply agreements with Russia? Kazakhstan may impose state regulations on the price of fuel. The U.S. has banned all imports of Syrian petrol products, and has forbidden U.S. companies from exporting to Syria or engaging in any dealings.