Shell announced that it has stopped investing in the conventional renewable energy sources, wind, solar and hydropower, and will concentrate instead on developing second-generation biofuels. Chechnya’s deputy finance minister denies that the ministry owes any debts to regional power supplier Nurenergo or any other Russian electricity firm, but industry officials say otherwise. A Russian consortium may lease 15 oil blocks, representing 15,440 square miles, for exploration in Cuba’s portion of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Cuban Ministry has hinted that Russia could become a major partner for the country’s oil sector. Independent gas producer Novotek is one of the few energy companies to post strong profits for 2008, in spite of falling prices. Russia has reportedly signed an agreement with Nigeria to build nuclear reactors and explore for uranium there.