Energy Minister, Sergei Shmatko, has announced that the government will reduce the investment budget for state power companies by 40% this year. Nonetheless, Putin asserts that ‘developing the power industry’, is necessary for a financial recovery. The head of Rosneft has commented that tax cuts are required for the energy sector to survive. Gazprom’s deputy chief executive has forecast a 10% decrease in demand for gas. Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry holds Gazprom responsible for yesterday’s pipeline blast, according to the Moscow Times. The company says that gas supplies to customers will not be disturbed by the explosion. Supplies to Russia via the pipeline have, however, been temporarily suspended. The CEO of Gazprom is in talks with the Kazakh president on creating a new pipeline from Turkmenistan via Kazakhstan’s Caspian Sea coast to Russia. Iran’s first nuclear facility in Isfahan has been opened by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. India has opened bidding for oil and gas exploration in 70 areas. The UK is facing a nuclear future, as North Sea oil begins to run out, comments an article in the Times.