Iran, Russia in energy cooperation talks
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar recently visited with leaders in Russia to promote bilateral cooperation in several areas, including energy.
"Russia has invested in a number of large projects in Iran. The Bushehr nuclear power plant, which will soon be commissioned, is a symbol of our relations," Najjar said.
While Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports Iran has been keeping its technology domestic, Iranian publication the Tehran Times reports Iran is ready to ask Russia for help in technology.
"Iran, in principle, welcomes the expansion of cooperation with other producers of oil and gas, including with Russian companies," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.
Without getting specific, Mottaki said leaders from the two countries are working on developing documents to sign involving long-term cooperation agreements.
Russia's Gazprom has had a hand in the development of Iran's South Pars gas field for 12 years, and in July 2008 Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Co. signed a memorandum on mutual understanding.
Violence in Nigeria continues
Even as leaders meet to discuss ways to make the Niger Delta safer for oil and gas companies, gunmen fired at Royal Dutch Shell oil facilities.
In this most recent incident the attack did not affect operations, but overall, violence in the region has had a significant impact on oil production, The Daily Times of Nigeria reports.
Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Sanusi Mohammed Barkindo met in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to talk about the need for safety at oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta, Nigeria's The Independent reports.
Uduaghan said he asked Barkindo how the state can partner with the NNPC to improve safety.
Barkindo suggested reaching out to educate the community could help.
China lends money for a pipeline from Russia
China and Russia signed a $25 billion deal to build an oil and gas pipeline from Russia's city of Skovorodino to China's northeastern city of Daqing.
The deal, signed in Beijing Tuesday, will be funded by the China Development Bank through loans to Russian oil companies Rosneft and Transneft, China's Economic Observer reports.
Rosneft will get $15 billion for construction of the pipeline and Transneft will get $10 billion for operation of the pipeline.
According to the agreement, Moscow gets the loans and China gets about 300,000 barrels per day of oil from oil fields in Siberia between 2011 and 2030.
This most recent deal is in line with an energy cooperation pact between the two countries. Other deals also include pipeline construction, long-term oil trading and loans.
Beijing and Moscow have held several rounds of talks since November -- significant because Russia is the second-largest oil exporter in the world and China is the second-largest oil importer.
During the first 11 months in 2008, China imported 1.2 billion barrels of oil from the Middle East and Africa.
Closing oil prices, Feb. 18, 3 p.m., London
Brent Crude oil: $41.47
West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $34.77