German firms to control 49pc of NEGP gas field

24th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 April 2006, MOSCOW - Germany's BASF-Wintershall and E.ON-Ruhrgas will control almost 50 per cent of the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field that will feed the new North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP) from Russia, media reports said Monday.

24 April 2006

MOSCOW - Germany's BASF-Wintershall and E.ON-Ruhrgas will control almost 50 per cent of the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field that will feed the new North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP) from Russia, media reports said Monday.

Agreements on their respective stakes - 35 and almost 15 per cent - are due to be signed with Russia's semi-state gas monopolist Gazprom at intergovernmental meetings in the Siberian city of Tomsk mid-week.

Gazprom will hold the controlling stake in the western Siberian field, which has estimated reserves of 700 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Meanwhile, the Russian company's share in Wintershall will rise from 35 to 49 per cent, according to the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti and Germany's Handelsblatt.

The deal reflects close energy cooperation between the countries developed during Gerhard Schroeder's tenure as chancellor.

Gazprom now seeks to expand on the European market as a direct provider to customers rather than as a mere supplier to the EU's borders.

Schroeder's successor, Angela Merkel, is expected to discuss energy with President Vladimir Putin in Tomsk on Wednesday and Thursday.

Due for completion in 2010, the NEGP line will run more than 1,200 kilometres under the Baltic Sea from the Russian port of Vyborg near St. Petersburg to Greifswald on the German coast. It will pump half of Germany's gas imports from Russia and may be also be extended to Holland, Scandinavia and Britain.

The NEGP's operating company is 51-per-cent controlled by Gazprom. E.ON and BASF both hold a 24.5 per cent stake.

Following his exit from office late last year, Schroeder came under criticism for taking a post in the company as chairman of the shareholders' supervisory board, earning 301,000 dollars a year (250,000 euros).

DPA

Subject: German news

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