MOSCOW Feb 28 Russia's top crude producer
Rosneft, seeking ways to cash in on its substantial
gas assets, said it would team up with mid-sized gas company
Itera, pooling their fields to extract over 40 billion cubic
metres (bcm) of gas a year.
Rosneft has long been mulling an increase in its exposure to
the gas market and has tried to challenge the gas exporting
monopoly of Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas
Rosneft said it signed an agreement with Itera on strategic
partnership, which forsees creation of a joint venture.
"At the initial stage, total extractable reserves of liquids
and gas of the venture would amount to around 60 million tonnes
and 1.2 trillion cubic metres respectively," the
state-controlled company said, adding that within several years
the joint venture would produce and sell about 40 billion cubic
metres (bcm) of gas annually.
Itera, which produces over 20 bcm of gas a year, was the
monopoly trader of Turkmen gas via Russia to Ukraine in the
1990s. But it lost its exclusive rights after a management
shake-up at Gazprom and has failed to regain its position since
Last year, Russia's third-largest oil producer TNK-BP
failed to secure a deal to acquire 50 percent in
Itera, according to industry sources.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Hans-Juergen