The inauguration speech of US President Barack Obama included a special focus on alternative energy sources and energy security. The cash crunch facing Gazprom offers strong business opportunities for Western companies, says The Times. Gazprom has been given rights to explore for hydrocarbons in Algeria. Kazakhstan intends to invest $3.14 billion over the next six years to increase oil-refining capacity and produce as much fuel as possible domestically, and has raised its transit fees for gas heading to Russia by 21% for the year. StatoilHydro has requested that Norwegian politicians assess the oil industry’s access to areas on the Norwegian continental shelf.