The Gas Exporting Countries Forum has delayed a vote for secretary general after Russia did not propose a candidate. Lukoil has been unsuccessful in its attempt to win a bid for Iraq’s West Qurna oil field, but the company may have a second chance as Royal Dutch Shell has withdrawn its offer. A BP-led consortium has won a deal to develop Iraq’s largest oilfield in a landmark televised auction. ‘It is not difficult to see that the Kremlin’s China strategy is identical to the course pursued by former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky’ says Yulia Latynina in the Moscow Times, but the Kremlin’s version is ‘killing off the Far East‘. The Washington Post reports that the last shipment of bomb-grade uranium has been transported out of Romania. The EU is reportedly ready to lend Ukraine $2 billion for gas payments to Russia. Gazprom has said that Ukraine’s financial problems may provoke gas disruptions this winter. Gazprom, Total and Eni SpA have apparently expressed an interest in developing the trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria. Read here to see why Russia’s joint gas venture with Nigeria is becoming a branding nightmare.