At yesterday’s meeting between Dmitry Medvedev and Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s PdVSA state oil firm and a consortium of major Russian producers signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in Orinoco and on joint development of the Junin-6 field. PdVSA also made a deal with Transneft to build infrastructure in the Orinoco belt and another deal with Rosneft. OPEC is apparently ‘not encouraged’ by Russia’s lack of output cuts. ‘We never had any obligations (to OPEC). When we were communicating, we never promised anything’, an unfussed Sergei Shmatko has responded. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko is hoping to hold the government to $770 million of loans in 2010 to improve coal mines, as an alternative energy source to natural gas. If Norway’s labor majority coalition lose next week’s elections, it could be good news for oil majors as the labor party remains restrained on further Arctic exploration. The International Energy Agency has increased its estimate for global oil demand in 2010 for a second month in a row. Hungarian refiner Mol has sold 47,369 of its own shares on the Budapest Stock Exchange for $3.57 million to help fund a gas project in Iraq.