Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has described the current oil price as ‘overheated’ and and said that he expects a correction in three to six months. Vladimir Putin has solicited the support of Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen for the Nord Stream pipeline and the pair have apparently discussed the possibility of it running through Denmark’s special economic zone. Total reportedly believes that oil production will increase in 2010 after cuts by OPEC and waning demand pushed down its output this year. Venezuela has signed a mammoth $16 billion oil deal with China over three years to increase oil production in the Orinoco belt. A senior Rosneft executive has said that tax breaks are critical for Russian oil firms if they are to increase faltering production levels. Reuters reports that Romania is engaging in discussions with Asian states regarding supplies for the Nabucco pipeline. According to Reuters, Ukraine plans to broker agreements to ensure Turkmen gas flows to Europe again via its pipelines, after disputes between Ashgabat and Moscow. Cold war forces explore a thawing Arctic – a joint US-Russian expedition to examine the impact of climate change in the Arctic Sea is underway.