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Monday, June 09, 2008

Gazprom, Shell to Exploit Outside Resources

June 09, 2008 - Kommersant - Shell will probably join Gazprom project for constructing LNG facilities in Yamal, for which Yuzhno-Tambeiskoe field will be the resource base. Russia’s monopoly owns just a blocking stake in the field, while the firms of Alisher Usmanov’s Gazmetall hold the remainder. According to Shell's Executive Officer Jeroen van der Veer, the company that sold a stake in Sakhalin-2 to Gazprom in 2006 has sealed with Russia’s monopoly a protocol for joint exploitation of LNG in Russia and third states. The matter at stake is construction of LNG plant in Yamal. Speaking about the definite production amount or costs would be too early, as the protocol doesn’t specify any final date, Jeroen van der Veer said. According to Alexander Medvedev, who is the deputy head of Gazprom Management Committee, they intend to make Yuzhno-Tambeiskoe field the resource base of the project. A firm affiliated with monopoly owns 25 percent plus a stock in it and Gazprombank is elaborating a feasibility study already. The reserves of Yuzhno-Tambeiskoe field are estimated at 1.3 billion cu meters of gas and the annual output is planned at between 20 billion cu meters and 25 billion cu meters. In 2005, Gazprombank-Invest acquired from NOVATEK 25.1 percent in Tambeineftegaz (license holder) and Alisher Usmanov’s Gazmetall bought 75 percent less a stock in it in 2006. In Gazprom they refuse to explain the choice of the field that is beyond the monopoly’s control. The reason could be that the relations of Gazprom and Usmanov are very close. Usmanov, for instance, heads Gazprominvestholding, where the monopoly owns 100 percent and which concern is to resume Gazprom’s control over a number of assets. Gazprom may buy out Tambeineftegaz any time, a source familiar with the situation said. Last year, however, the stocks of the company were pawned to secure the VTB loan worth 50 billion rubles.

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