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Russian energy giant Gazprom is against foreign companies developing Russia's mineral
Russian energy giant Gazprom is against foreign companies developing Russia's mineral deposits, a high-ranking Gazprom official said on Wednesday.

Russia's Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said on Monday that companies which foreign investors hold a controlling stake could gain access to Russian strategic deposits.

"I want to emphasize that we don't want our state-owned resources to be developed with the participation of foreign companies," a deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, Alexander Ananenkov, said.

The negative experience of the Sakhalin-I and Sakhalin-II oil and gas projects off Russia's Pacific Coast and the Kharyaga oil field in northern Russia, which are being developed under production sharing agreements (PSA), supported the contention and were not in Russia's interests, he said.

"Companies using our resources are not interested in supplying Russia's Far East. They are motivated by some economically more advantageous possibilities for the gas," Ananenkov said.

However, the deputy chairman said Gazprom is ready to cooperate with foreign companies in projects that would be mutually beneficial.

"We are ready to cooperate with foreign companies on mutually beneficial principles and equal investment in a joint project...Gazprom has effectively achieved this," he said citing the joint exploration of the Yuzhno-Russkoye field with BASF.

Under an asset swap agreement between Gazprom and Germany's BASF AG, signed earlier this year, the German energy concern bought a 25% minus one ordinary share and one privileged share without a voting right in Gazprom subsidiary Severneftegazprom.

Severneftegazprom holds a license for northwest Siberia's Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas deposit that went into operation December 18. The deposit has 805 billion cubic meters of proven gas reserves, and 5.7 million tons (42 million barrels) of proven oil reserves.

Earlier Wednesday, Ananenkov said Gazprom is holding talks with the Sakhalin-I project operator, Exxon Neftegas Limited, an affiliate of U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil, that plans to export the gas produced.

He said Gazprom is proposing the gas be sold to Gazprom to supply consumers in Russia's Far East consumers.

The Sakhalin I project has recoverable reserves estimated at 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 485 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Exxon Neftegas and Japan's Sodeco hove a 30% stake each in the project, with Russia's Rosneft and India's ONGC holding 20% each.


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