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A man looks as the world's biggest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker DUHAIL as she crosses through the Suez Canal in this April 1, 2008 file photo.
A man looks as the world's biggest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker DUHAIL as she crosses through the Suez Canal in this April 1, 2008 file photo.
(Stringer/Reuters)

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Fracking weakens Russian utility’s hold on gas prices

It’s tough being a monopolistic enterprise when the ground is moving under your feet. For Gazprom, the earth is not just shifting but fracturing. Even as the Russian state gas utility last week presented the Ukrainian government with a $7-billion bill for taking less gas than agreed under a long-term supply contract, its troublesome customer was signing a deal with Shell to explore Ukraine’s supposedly vast reserves of shale gas.