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Friday, May 15, 2009

German E.ON hopes to ink Russian Yuzhno-Russkoye gas deal in June

13 May 2009 - (Platts) - London - German energy giant E.ON hopes to sign a deal with Russia's Gazprom over a stake in the West Siberian Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field in June, E.ON said Wednesday. In its Q1 results report, E.ON said that "our discussions with Gazprom regarding our acquisition of a roughly 25% stake in Yuzhno-Russkoye... are in the final stages. The detailed contracts for the transaction have, for the most part, been worked out. We expect them to be signed in June." The company had indicated earlier this year it was hoping for a deal sometime during the course of this year. E.ON CEO Wulf Bernotat said in an interview with Russian business daily Vedomosti in April that he hoped to close the deal for the field as early as this summer. "We hope the deal will be closed in the second half of the year, maybe in the summer," he said. Gazprom and E.ON signed a long-awaited asset swap agreement in October 2008, after more than two years of discussions on the assets to be included in the deal. It is expected that in return for providing E.ON access into Yuzhno-Russkoye, Gazprom will receive E.ON Ruhrgas' 49% stake in Gerosgaz--the joint venture between Gazprom and E.ON--in which the Russian gas giant currently holds 51%. Gerosgaz holds under 3% of Gazprom shares, which will thus be transferred to the ownership of Gazprom. After the transaction, E.ON Ruhrgas will still hold a 3.5% direct stake in Gazprom.

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