The International Energy Agency’s chief economist Fatih Birol has said that if oil prices rise higher than $70, the global economic recovery will be rendered more difficult. Birol has also predicted there may not be sufficient demand for natural gas in Europe to justify the existence of both the Nabucco and South Stream pipelines. OPEC has revised its 2010 forecast for supply from countries outside the group, suggesting an increase of 210,000 barrels per day from non-OPEC members. Vladimir Putin has promised that Russia will use the most modern oil extraction and processing technology if it gains access to Venezuela’s oil reserves. Next month it is expected that a consortium of Russian firms and the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will draw up a joint venture to explore the Junin 6 block in the Orinoco oil belt, which Venezuela says has the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves. Rushydro has filed more than 150 lawsuits against clients who have failed to pay their bills. Moscow’s electric producer Mosenergo has announced a 350% increase in profit, year on year in the first half of 2009.