Cash-strapped Belarus is working on repaying its electricity debts to Russia to ensure that it does not suffer any further power cuts. Speaking at a United Russia meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that Russian oil companies are planning to invest $309 billion over the next decade in development and modernization, and Gazprom is seeking to expand its markets through ‘intense negotiations‘ with India, China and South Korea. Germany is also being considered as a potential Russian energy customer as it winds down its own nuclear power production. Russia will consider revising the gas price formula for Ukraine after creating a merger between Gazprom and Naftogas. Gazprom is ready to begin construction on a gas pipeline to China, and could start work this summer. Shell has gone public with its operating principles for shale gas operations ‘to address public concern about tight/shale oil and gas development – especially regarding hydraulic fracturing‘.