Iraq apparently plans to introduce sanctions on U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil for signing a deal with the Kurdish region, which, it claims, came without any approval from either Baghdad or Washington. Fellow oil major Chevron is apparently looking at paying $51 million in fines and reparations for its responsibility for an oil spill at its Frade field offshore Brazil. Following this year’s treaty with Russia dividing the Barents sea into two economic zones, Norway’s energy ministry has initiated the formal process to open the resource-rich sea for oil and gas exploration. As negotiations on a major energy deal between Japan and Russia continue, it has been reported that the agreement could herald the involvement of Japanese companies in the Sakhalin-III gas project off Russia’s Pacific Coast. This Reuters analysis cautions against betting on a drop in oil prices.