Russian gas giant Gazprom to sell shares abroad

24th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

Russia's Gazprom aims to become world energy leader 24 June 2005

Russia's Gazprom aims to become world energy leader
24 June 2005

MOSCOW - The Russian gas monopolist Gazprom is to branch into oil production as part of plans to become one of the world's largest energy companies, CEO Alexei Miller told a shareholders' meeting in Moscow on Friday, as chairman of the German gas company E.ON Ruhrgas Burckhard Bergmann, was reappointed to Gazprom's board for the sixth consecutive year.

With planned investments worth billions of dollars the company will shift its focus from gas to oil and become as diversified as Exxonmobil and BP, he said.

Gazprom is interested in joining in the development of three large oil deposits off the island of Sakhalin in far eastern Russia, said Miller.

Exploration in the region currently involves Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron.

The Russian government became the majority holder in Gazprom in mid-June through the acquisition of a further 10.7 per cent of stock for USD 7.1 billion.

The shareholders' meeting on Friday adopted a resolution to liberalize trade in Gazprom stock. Shares are soon to be sold abroad with no restrictions.

The company has, however, come been criticized for lack of transparency and cost control, resulting in damages of several billion dollars in recent years.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the German gas company E.ON Ruhrgas, Burckhard Bergmann, was reappointed to Gazprom's board for the sixth consecutive year.

Ruhrgas is the largest foreign owner of Gazprom stock, holding 6.43 per cent.

Last year, Gazprom delivered 140.5 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe, mainly to Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news

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