Oil has fallen below $50 a barrel, as an Energy Department report is expected to show that US crude stockpiles have increased by 2 million barrels. Turkmen President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, has ordered an investigation into the recent pipeline explosion and may seek damages. Lukoil is, apparently, ‘comfortable’ with its $7 billion debt and will look to increasing refining capacity. OGK-1 may reduce investment in three new plants by up to 15%. Iran has given Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol a May 20 deadline to make clear their involvement in a large gas project in the Gulf. Korea Gas Corp. intends to import around 650,000 tons of LNG from Russia this year, as a twenty-year contract gets underway. Rosneft and Transneft have agreed a contract on oil purchase and sales to supply a total of 15 millions tons of oil to China. The hydrocarbon project between Gazprom and Libya’s National Oil Corporation has reportedly been completed within schedule. Royal Dutch Shell will jointly bid with Chinese state oil firms for projects in Iraq. Exploration in North Sea oil will drop dramatically this year as a result of the recession.