Russia is stepping up its imports of petroleum hardware. In the latest developments: Nippon Steel Corp. and C. Itoh & Co. Ltd., Tokyo, signed contracts to provide Russia $300 million worth of export credits for steel pipe and undisclosed drilling equipment. Nizhnevartovskneftegaz, a Russian oil and gas production association, asked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a $60 million loan to buy western oil and gas equipment. The hardware, mostly pipe, tools, pumps, and workover rigs, will be used in part to return shut-in wells to production. Nippon and C. Itoh represented three other...

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