Lukoil is apparently contemplating a joint refinery investment with ConocoPhillips on the East Coast of the US. ConocoPhillips says it has no plans to build a new US refinery. Russian gas exports to countries other than ex-Soviet bloc fell 50% year on year in January to May. As the Ukraine-Russia gas problem rumbles on, the EU has been attempting to put together a loan for Kiev as it hits another payment deadline for its gas debt to Russia. Ukraine’s state firm Naftogaz could secure up to $4 billion in financing with the help of Russian investment bank Troika. The world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas, Korea Gas Corp., and Mitsubishi Corp. have agreed to jointly consider the possibility of developing gas reserves in Venezuela and purchasing stakes in liquefied natural gas plants in Australia and Canada. Korea Gas is hoping to be involved in Gazprom’s project to link fields in the Far East’s Sakhalin with the port of Vladivostok. The CEO of Mol has said that the company will not succumb to pressure by Russia to cooperate with new shareholder Surgutneftegaz, even if it means the company risks sacrificing a license to an oil project in Siberia. Russian oil output is forecast to fall by 0.9% this year from last year.