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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gazprom Seeks Reserves in Africa

February 1, 2006 - Bloomberg – Gazprom will expand oil and gas exploration in Algeria and Libya to secure access to reserves in Africa. Gazprom and Sonatrach, Algeria's state oil company, agreed "to develop full-scale cooperation in exploration, production, transportation, processing and marketing" of oil and gas, Gazprom said Tuesday. The company also wants to produce oil and gas in Libya and market the fuel, Gazprom said Tuesday in a separate statement. Libya holds 5 billion tons of proved light-grade oil reserves (37 billion barrels), the largest in Africa and the fifth-largest among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Gazprom plans to expand in Algeria, which holds 4.6 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, Africa's second-largest after Nigeria, the Russian producer said. Gazprom's pipeline construction unit, Stroitransgaz, last year signed a contact with Sonatrach to build a $226 million gas pipeline to feed Algerian power generators. Algeria also holds 1.5 billion barrels (11 billion barrels) of proved oil reserves, the largest in Africa after Libya and Nigeria. Zarubezhneftegaz, a unit of Gazprom, plans to invest in oil and gas exploration in Pakistan and may buy stakes in the South Asian nation's energy companies.

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