Russia and the Netherlands have ‘serious plans’ to increase their energy projects; Royal Dutch Shell is seeking involvement in the Yamal region. The oil giant has made a discovery of natural gas in the Norwegian Sea that could be the biggest in 12 years. Apparently oil firm Rosneft will not merge with Surgut. The company may enter into a joint project with Eni in Africa. Lukoil is set to buy a 45% stake in a Dutch refinery from Total, outfoxing US refiner Valero. Rosneft has significantly extended the powers of its board of directors and the government has voted Vladimir Bogdanov, head of rival oil company Surgutneftegaz, onto Rosneft’s board, indicating intentions of a possible merger? Apparently the EU is worried about the stability of Russian gas and may give Kiev a loan. Arctic countries claim that cooperation will be prioritized in the disputed region, but military activity is rumbling. Bulgaria reportedly has a ‘strong case‘ for receiving more compensation for closing two Soviet nuclear plants in 2006 to gain EU membership. Apparently Russian firms are using spies in the German energy sector to garner information about industry developments.