Monday, February 02, 2009
Usmanov sells 75 pct in Yamal LNG to Gazprombank
MOSCOW, Jan 30, 2009 (Reuters by Amie Ferris-Rotman) - Billionaire Alisher Usmanov has sold his majority stake in a gigantic gas deposit to the banking arm of Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, taking its share in the field to 100 percent, a paper said on Friday. The metals tycoon sold his 75 percent share in Yamal LNG, a firm which operates one of the biggest gas fields in Russia, Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye, which has estimated reserves of 1.3 trillion metres of gas, Vedomosti business daily said, quoting Usmanov. Gazprom's (GAZP.MM) Gazprombank already had a blocking stake of 25 percent in Yamal LNG, which it acquired three years ago. Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer and supplier of a quarter of Europe's gas, is rapidly expanding into the booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. LNG shipments from the Gazprom-controlled Sakhalin-2 projects on the Pacific island by the same name are expected to launch sometime in the first quarter of this year, marking the firm's first LNG shipments.