Gazprom is apparently mulling increasing fuel exports and initiating joint power generation projects with Japan, as the European Union seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia. France’s Total has announced profit increases of 13% thanks to higher oil prices, beating the expectations of a number of analysts. Less in the way of positive news for rival Exxon Mobil Corp which apparently needs to increase production in the current quarter to the equivalent of 5 million barrels a day if it hopes to meet the 4% growth target for 2011 set out by CEO Rex Tillerson. The Economist wonders if in the age of petrostates with rapidly advancing technology, private majors will struggle to survive? RFE/RL says that Russia has reaffirmed its commitment to help Armenia build a new nuclear plant, despite some obstacles in implementation. Azerbaijan and Turkey have signed a number of gas export related agreements to enable Turkey to buy gas from Azerbaijan and to transit Azerbaijan gas through Turkey to Europe.