Bulgaria has decided to abandon the trans-Balkan Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project, which was designed to transport Russian crude through its territory to Greece, citing financial reasons. Despite diplomatic tensions with Russia, Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, may buy a stake in Novatek’s Yamal LNG project in Russia’s Arctic region, says Bloomberg. Qatar Petroleum International has announced that it may invest in North American shale gas together with an international oil company. Poland and the Ukraine hope to be the forerunners of shale gas exploration in Europe, but will pipeline access prove a stumbling block? Russian mid-sized oil company Bashneft has announced an increase in net profit in the third quarter 2011 of 46%, year-on-year. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is apparently in discussions with China on the joint development of a new and safer kind of nuclear reactor. The Economist analyzes China’s perplexing backtracking at UN climate change talks in Durban.