The US government has announced that global oil demand will drop for the first time since the early 1980s, in line with falling economic growth. Oil and gas companies are seeing exploration and production costs rising as energy prices fall. France’s Total says next year’s projects will not be delayed by the financial crisis. A surge in supply of liquefied natural gas over the next years will not prevent another slump in 2012. Lukoil has signed an oil supply agreement with two Argentine companies. Russia may cut its oil export duty by over $70 a ton, starting January 1st. Gazprom Neft has asked the Iranian government to consider giving it a role in developing the South Azadegan oil field. Iraq will restart oil exports to South Korea’s SK Energy next year.