Russia Gazprom buys 25 pct of DalTransGas from Rosneft

MOSCOW, July 19 Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:44am EDT

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MOSCOW, July 19 (Reuters) - Russian gas major Gazprom (GAZP.MM) has agreed to buy a 25 percent stake in gas transport firm DalTransGas from the country's largest oil producer, Rosneft (ROSN.MM), Gazprom said on Saturday.

The acquisition, the price of which was not disclosed, is part of a broader deal between the two state-controlled energy giants to provide gas to Russia's far east, where DalTransGas builds and operates gas pipelines.

As part of the deal, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russia's main gas pipeline network, will give Rosneft access to available transport capacity in the far eastern Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok pipeline, Gazprom said in a statement.

The two state-controlled companies will also hold talks with the consortium running the Sakhalin-1 deposit, led by U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), to purchase between 1.5 billion and 2 billion cubic metres of gas to supply the far eastern region of Primorsk.

Exxon and Gazprom have disagreed over where to sell gas from Sakhalin-1, with Exxon pushing for it to be exported to Asia while Gazprom says it is needed for the domestic market [ID:nL18577510].

Under the agreement, Gazprom and Rosneft will also consider the possibility of pumping additional gas from the Gazprom-controlled Sakhalin-2 project, on the island of Sakhalin off of Russia's Pacific coast, to provide supplies for Primorsk, the statement said.

Gazprom and Rosneft will also test the transport capacity of the Okha-Komsomolsk-on-Amur pipeline as a step toward raising that capacity to 4.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

In the statement, Gazprom said it will provide for the development of the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas transport system, focusing first on the Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas link, which it plans to complete in 2011.

As of March 31, 2008, Rosneft owned 25 percent of DalTransGas, while the federal government owns 27.39 percent and the regional government of the Khabarovsk region owns 47.59 percent, according to the company's website. (Reporting by Simon Shuster)

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