Vladimir Putin told a defence ministry meeting that he wished to see the military bolster its presence in the territory

View from City Road: Lasmo may need a rights issue

Lasmo's North Sea disposal confirms the soundness of its assets, reflected in the values they attract. But the fact that it has been forced to sell them underlines the weakness of its balance sheet.

Mitsubishi buys into North Sea oil sector

MITSUBISHI Oil, the big Japanese exploration and refining group, is buying a parcel of North Sea assets from Petrofina, the Belgian group, for about dollars 200m (pounds 136m), writes Neil Thapar.

Tall ships emerge from the North Sea mist for 1993 race

(Photograph omitted)

Hardy in 29m pounds cash call

HARDY Oil & Gas, the North Sea explorer, is tapping shareholders for the second time in two years with a pounds 29m cash call to finance acquisitions and develop new fields, writes Neil Thapar.

Sports Listings: This Weekend / Windsurfing - North Sea Cup, Pevensey Bay

The North Sea Cup at Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, this weekend is one of the largest windsurfing regattas in Britain as it is also the second round of the National Series Championships. The Cup itself is a four-round event, contested by France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain, and more than 200 sailors will compete in the penultimate round. Britain has not won the North Sea Cup, though this season a strong challenge is mounted. Matthew Wemms, from Welwyn Garden City, is the overall leader in the lightweight division and will work hard to retain the position in open-sea conditions at Pevensey Bay. Also in contention in this category is Willie Banham, the National Champion. The Londoner won the first round in the Netherlands over Easter. Christine Lapworth, from Botley, leads the women's section for Britain.

Shell decision

Shell is not to be prosecuted over 11 deaths in a helicopter crash near the Cormorant Alpha North Sea platform, the Crown Office confirmed.

Oil tax changes 'will damage economy'

THE GOVERNMENT'S sweeping tax changes affecting the North Sea oil industry are likely to cause severe long-term damage to the economy, according to an authoritative report.

Subs 'close to nuclear explosion'

A US nuclear-powered submarine that collided with a Russian sub in the Barents Sea last month came within 60ft of striking the Russian vessel's nuclear reactors, AP reports from Moscow. Had the USS Grayling hit the vital reactor area, 'a thermo-nuclear explosion would have followed', said Rear-Admiral Alexei Ovcharenko, a Russian officer who investigated the 20 March accident.

North Sea vessel hit

About 70 men were evacuated from a North Sea oil rig support vessel after it was hit by a safety ship which lost power in 45mph winds and 22ft seas. The crash happened in the Claymore Field, 100 miles north-east of Aberdeen. No injuries have been reported.

Clyde to raise pounds 34m to develop oilfield: Rights issue accompanied by bigger loss

CLYDE Petroleum, the North Sea oil explorer, is raising pounds 34m from a rights issue to fund the development of Gryphon, a new offshore oilfield in which it has a 35 per cent stake.

Letter: Tax that could dry up North Sea oil revenue

Sir: We, the undersigned, former chairmen of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and/or the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society, wish to draw your attention to the absence of comment in the press on proposals in the Budget for the most fundamental tax changes to affect the North Sea oil and gas scene for 10 years. This is because the outcome of the proposed changes is not obvious.

Enterprise profits fall

ENTERPRISE OIL, the big North Sea explorer, has lifted its total dividend by 2 per cent to 16p for last year despite a sharp fall in profits caused by lower oil prices and a high tax bill.

Next services: 244 miles: Armed with permit, insect repellent, CB radio and the collected works of Tater Bob, Bill Pannifer follows the Alaska pipeline to the Arctic Ocean

We are driving out to the coast. Not the East Coast, nor the West Coast, but the North Coast: the northernmost point in the United States accessible by vehicle. Our route is on all the maps, a dead straight, lonely-looking line up from Fairbanks to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. We've already driven three thousand miles from San Francisco, and we're not going to stop now, just because it says 'Restricted Road'.

Itochu buys North Sea interests

THE market for North Sea oil assets received a further boost after Enterprise Oil, the UK independent, sold some interests to Itochu, the Japanese conglomerate, for dollars 106m (pounds 73m).

Riggers' plunge

Two North Sea riggers were recovering in hospital after falling 50ft (15.2m) into the water from the underside of British Petroleum's Bruce platform, 250 miles north-east of Aberdeen. Both were able to swim back to a platform leg. An investigation has begun.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness