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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

E.ON: Negotiations with Gazprom Over Asset Swap Remain 'Difficult'

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - AFX News Limited - E.ON AG said negotiations with Russia's Gazprom over a stake in the Siberian Yushno Russkoye gas field remain difficult. "Negotiations are difficult, not only because of the political change [in Russia], but also due to the exorbitant rise in crude oil prices," chief executive Wulf Bernotat said during the German utility's AGM. He did not say when he expects talks to progress. Gas prices are linked to oil prices, which saw massive hikes since E.ON and Gazprom in 2006 struck a basic agreement on an asset swap that sees E.ON acquiring a 25 percent minus one share stake in the company operating the gas field in return for some of E.ON's Hungarian assets. Gasprom consequently delayed talks as it re-evaluated the Yushno Russkoye field. E.ON later on also offered stakes in several of its European power plants, according to Gazprom. Also, Russian president Vladimir Putin will hand over his office to successor Dmitry Medvedev May 7.

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