Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Gazprom: Talking To GDF To Enter Nord Stream Pipeline Project
21 April 2009 - FRANKFURT - (Dow Jones by Jan Hromadko and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen ) - The shareholders of the Nord Stream pipeline project, which will transport natural gas from Russia to western Europe via the Baltic Sea, are in talks with GDF Suez SA (GSZ.FR) over the French company entering the consortium. A spokesman for Russian natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS), which leads the consortium with a 51% stake, Tuesday said talks are underway with GDF, without further elaborating. Two people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires that E.ON Ruhrgas, the natural gas unit of E.ON AG (EOAN.XE), and BASF SE's (BAS.XE) Wintershall AG are both willing to sell 4.5% each to GDF. One of the persons said negotiations with GDF are in the beginning stages, and the main question is what GDF is willing to offer in return. E.ON Ruhrgas and Wintershall currently own 20% stakes in Nord Stream. The remaining 9% are owned by Dutch gas firm Nederlandse Gasunie NV.