Moscow (AFP) Dec 10, 2010
Russia vowed Friday to keep Finland fully informed about the environmental impact from the controversial Nord Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe it is currently building under the Baltic Sea.
Moscow's commitment was spelled out in a memorandum of understanding signed by Russia's natural resources minister and the Finnish environment minister.
"The parties agreed to submit current environmental data obtained from the ecological monitoring programme (that accompanies) the construction of the Russian and Finnish sectors of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline," the Russian ministry said in a statement.
The agreement was inked in Saint Petersburg on the sidelines of talks between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Finnish counterpart Mari Kiviniemi.
The data exchange agreement will expire once the section is completed in December 2012, the Russian ministry said.
Nord Stream was granted a permit in February to construct the gas pipeline in Finland's waters. The project already has approval from every other country through which the pipeline will pass.
But the project has sparked heated protests from environmentalists who worry about the impact of both construction and any potential accidents.
Finnish and Estonian environmental groups took their case to Finland's Supreme Administrative Court in October after a lower court refused to hear their complaint.
The 7.4-billion-euro (10.1-billion-dollar) project to build the 1,220-kilometre (760-mile) pipeline to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany is led by Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom in partnership with Germany's E.On Ruhrgas and BASF-Wintershall.
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Iraq eyes 'Super Six' to boost oil output
Baghdad (UPI) Dec 9, 2010
Iraq is concentrating its drive to quadruple its oil output on its six "super fields," which analysts say have the potential to produce in excess of 10.5 million barrels a day by 2017. That's just short of the Oil Ministry's declared target of up to 12 million bpd in the next six years. There is a lot of skepticism in the global oil industry that Iraq will be able to meet such an ambiti ... read more
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