It has been revealed that Gazprom lost around $1 billion as a result of its gas spat with Ukraine. Could the company be about to abandon its plans for the development of the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea? According to the Moscow Times, the company is hoping to increase gas exports to Europe by 15% this year. The Russian gas giant says that it increased gas sales volumes to Europe by 19% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. ConocoPhillips and Statoil USA E&P have announcd that they are brokering a deal that would see Statoil purchase a 25% working interest in 50 ConocoPhillips leases acquired in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. According to Bloomberg, China National Offshore Oil Corp. is interested in joining with Tullow Oil Plc to help explore Uganda’s energy resources. The latter company claims to have signed an agreement to purchase Heritage Oil Plc’s assets in Uganda for up to $1.5 billion, in an attempt to block a rival offer by Eni SpA. Are Belarus and Russia on the verge of a deal?