Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Gazprom Invited to Explore Just Off Alaska
October 21, 2008 - St. Petersburg Times - Bloomberg - MOSCOW — Gazprom, Russia’s largest energy producer, said it was invited to explore for resources off the coast of Alaska during talks with ConocoPhillips and state officials last week. “We received invitations for exploration work on the Alaskan continental shelf and in the near future will hold a new round of meetings and discussions,” Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said, according to a transcript of an interview broadcast by Russian state television during the weekend. Miller led a delegation of senior executives to Anchorage, meeting last Monday with Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources and ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva. Gazprom highlighted its experience in producing natural gas and building pipelines in similar climate conditions as Alaska. Gazprom, which already supplies a quarter of Europe’s natural gas, is seeking to increase its reach with projects around the world, including in North America. The courtship of Alaska comes less than a month before the U.S. presidential election, in which Russia’s resurgence has become a campaign issue. Future negotiations will determine which fields U.S. partners intend to open up for exploration in the Chukchi Sea, Miller said. The Chukchi Sea is located north of the Bering Strait, the narrow body of water that separates Russia from Alaska.