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Total will join other majors, ExxonMobil, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell, to develop Russian shale oil, a key driver in Moscow’s efforts to at least maintain its oil output at more than 10 million barrels per day.  Photograph: Fabrice Dimier/Bloomberg

French oil major Total has secured the rights to explore three hard-to-recover oil blocks in West Siberia, according to a statement on the webs(...)

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president,  leaves a session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum  in Davos, Switzerland, today.  Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said today it was possible to turn more than three decades of enmity with the US into friendship if both sides made a(...)

Total will pay $1.6 million to acquire a 40 per cent stake in two exploration licences in the Gainsborough Trough, a geological basin in Lincolnshire, east England, thought to be rich in gas. Photograph: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

France’s Total SA will become the first oil major to invest in Britain’s fledgling shale sector when it announces plans today to spend about $50 milli(...)

European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas:  wouldn’t comment on Germany’s controversial blocking of lower limits on carbon dioxide emissions for cars

Nobody yet knows what the winning automotive fuel of the future will be. By 2050, it could be electricity, compressed natural gas, harmless biofuels, (...)

One of the more popular shares of the day in Dublin was Paddy Power, which saw approximately 250,000 shares change hands, a good number for the stock. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stock markets treaded water yesterday. European markets dipped slightly, in the main, despite positive data on Chinese exports, while in the US the ma(...)

BHP Billiton said yesterday US authorities had laid out grounds for possible enforcement action against the global mining firm for corrupt practices, (...)

The Stena Carron oil drill ship, moored at Lerwick, Shetland Islands.  Scotland’s oil and gas riches are playing a major part in the independence debate. Photograph:   via Getty

For nearly four decades, the Shetland Islands have been linked in the public’s mind with oil, a community that has done well from the exploration of t(...)

An employee counts Syrian pound notes at the Syrian central bank in Damascus. The Syrian pound has lost about 60 per cent of its value against the US dollar in two years. Photograph: Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri

Syria is at war but Damascus continues to function. Fruit and vegetables arrive from the countryside every day at the main wholesale market. (...)

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