Deputy Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov has lamented Gazprom’s slow sales during the period of high gas prices as a mark of ‘incompetence’. Gazprom expects export sales to fall to $40 billion in 2009. A Natural Resources and Environment Ministry official has said that guidelines for foreign companies accessing oil and gas in Russia should be changed so as to ensure foreign investors are not deterred. Lukoil has revealed that bank VEB owns roughly 2% of the gas company. Bloomberg comments on the fact that if talks to reduce nuclear weapons between Russia and the US succeed, a large amount of stockpiled uranium will come onto the market. Russia’s pipeline operator, Transneft, may use its loans as part of an oil supply deal to pay debts it owes to Sberbank. Russia’s competition watchdog has said it will fine four oil companies, including Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, for not lowering fuel prices when crude prices collapsed. TNK-BP has won a court rule repealing a $35 million fine imposed by regulators. France’s Total is planning to build a LNG plant in Russia’s arctic region with local partner Novatek.