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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gazprom moves closer to Europe

June 2006 RBC News - Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom and Hungary's MOL Group have signed an agreement on the South European Gas Pipeline project. The two companies agreed to set up a joint venture to prepare the technical and feasibility study for new transnational gas transportation and underground gas storage facilities in Hungary, Gazprom said. Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said the idea was to build a new gas transportation system that would carry gas to Europe. The Blue Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea would be used, he noted. "Considering Gazprom's reserves, its contracts and prospects for new export agreements, this seems to be the only real project in south-eastern Europe. And Hungary plays a key role here," Kupriyanov said. Gazprom and MOL Group also agreed to cooperate in regional investment projects in Southern, Eastern and Central Europe. Russia began supplying gas to Hungary in 1975. Over the past 30 years it has sold about 165.4 billion cubic meters of gas to the republic. About 80 percent of Hungary's gas imports come from Russia. In 2005 Gazprom supplied 9 billion cubic meters of gas to Hungary. MOL Group is the leading oil group in Central and Eastern Europe. It has its retail units in 10 countries of the region. MOL Group shares are traded on the stock exchanges of Budapest, Warsaw and Luxembourg.

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