Russian Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin’s visit to Venezuela has concentrated on energy cooperation. Gazprombank has agreed to offer a $4 billion loan to finance the development of minerals and other raw materials in the oil-rich nation. The governments have also agreed to create a joint venture between PDVSA- Servicios, Venezuela’s state owned oilfield services subsidiary, and Gazprom’s Latin American division. Sechin will also pursue energy cooperation in Nicaragua, where, the Russian ambassador to Managua says, ‘there are very good prospects for prospecting and extracting oil on the Atlantic and Pacific shelves’. Gazprom has announced that the Bolivian deposits it is exploring with Total SA and YPFB contain 285 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Prime Minister Putin has proposed that VEB lend Gazprombank $2.41 billion. Turkmenistan has promised Britain gas supplies once the Nabucco pipeline is operational. RFE/RL reports on how the dispute between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan may prove another setback for the EU-backed pipeline. BP has augmented its cost reduction targets by 50% as it struggles with plummeting profits. Lukoil has announced that its profits have dropped 27% year on year.