The European Union has named Gaz de France and Germany’s E.ON in connection with alleged rigging of gas markets. BP Chairman John Sutherland has accused Vladimir Putin of damaging Russia’s reputation through failing to intervene in the escalating dispute over TNK-BP. “The leaders of the country seem unwilling or unable to step in and stop them. This is bad for us, bad for the company, and, of course, very bad for Russia,” he said. “He has put Medvedev on the spot,” says one UK reporter. Italian engineering group Maire Tecnimont and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction have signed a joint $900 million contract to build an oil refinery plant in Russia in connection with Tatneft. Slovenia will “probably” sign an accord this summer with Gazprom, to allow the proposed $16 billion South Stream pipeline to cross its territory. “President Chavez of Venezuela, Prime Minister Putin of Russia and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia all might find their domestic power bases under threat if oil price fell back to, say, the $20-$30 per barrel level of the early 2000s.” Eni and Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp have signed six exploration and production sharing contracts. ExxonMobil has offered Gazprom a role in a $1 billion liquefied natural gas regasification terminal off the coast of New Jersey. The Iraqi Oil Minister says that increased production from Saudi Arabia or other OPEC producers would not ease high global oil prices because they are the result of market speculation.