Businessweek reports that Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has claimed that a decrease in natural gas exports to Russia has not affected its economy, signaling perhaps a new emphasis on energy trading with China and Iran. Despite the drop in activity, the President has pledged to continue with strategic cooperation with Russia in the energy sphere. According to Bloomberg, the Nabucco pipeline has its sights set on Iraq as its gas supplier, citing the country’s size and its lack of dependence on Russia as positive factors. France’s Total, Norway’s Statoil, Italy’s ENI and Royal Dutch Shell will voluntarily sever their ties to Iran as the US imposes sanctions. It seems that TNK-BP may have to fend off competition from Kuwait’s Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company for stakes in BP’s Vietnam projects. Japan is reducing its reliance on the Middle East for gas supplies, with imports from Russia almost doubling in August from the previous year. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation may make its first venture into investing in atomic energy abroad by offering a $4 billion loan to a nuclear plant project in Texas.