Gazprom has started production of coal-bed methane – one of three increasingly popular unconventional sources of gas that are causing a ‘silent revolution‘ in the US energy market and changing the face of the global gas market – and plans to produce 1.5 billion cubic meters per year by 2012. Does the delayed start of the Shtokman gas field have anything to do with the rise of these unconventional sources, and will the project ever go ahead? The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the US has reached an 11-month high. Russia accounted for 10% of total worldwide mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas exploration and production sectors in 2009, says a new report, although figures are much lower than those of recent years, and mostly relate to domestic deals. This Guardian piece looks at the initiatives being taken to clean up the Baltic Sea, in spite of last week’s go-ahead from the Finnish authorities on the Nord Stream pipeline project. The Independent is running an article on the Sea’s ‘vulnerable ecosystem‘.