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Gazprom and Petrobras have agreed to share expertise in the gas sector and study avenues of cooperation
Russian energy giant Gazprom and Brazil's largest oil and natural gas producer, Petrobras, have agreed to share expertise in the gas sector and study avenues of cooperation, a Gazprom official said following talks. "Gazprom is interested in the growth of gas production in South America, which is crucial for developing countries' economies," said Stanislav Tsygankov, head of foreign relations at the Russian concern, adding that cooperation with Brazil was currently at its early stage. Gazprom, which has acquired impressive expertise in building transcontinental gas pipelines in the last 35 years, and Petrobras (Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.), one of the world's top 15 oil and gas companies and the largest producer in Brazil, agreed to share experience in the sphere, Tsygankov said. The companies are expected to focus on a project to build a gas pipeline to link Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina. Ildo Sauer, head of Petrobras' natural gas and energy department, said the company needed Gazprom's expertise in laying long-distance pipelines. The project falls in line with a program to develop the gas transport infrastructure drafted by the Brazilian government in 2003. The program is designed to supply Brazil's southeastern and northeastern regions with both domestically produced and imported gas. The Gazprom official also said that the concern could be of assistance to Brazilians in drawing up a general power supply layout, building a gas-producing complex, evaluating strategic reserves of natural resources and transport capacities that would help meet consumer demand. Tsygankov added that promoting metal industry growth was crucial for the development of the energy sector. "So far, Brazilian experts know nothing about a general layout for a natural gas production, transportation, and sales system, whereas we are ready to share our knowledge and expertise," Tsygankov said. Gazprom's unique expertise in drilling land wells could also be of interest to Brazil. On the other hand, Brazil's expertise in developing off-shore deposits and its long-established contacts with Venezuela, the largest gas producer in Latin America, could be advantageous for Russia, Tsygankov said. Sauer, in turn, said Brazil also wanted to know more about underground storage facilities and long-distance transportation. The three-day talks between Gazprom and Petrobras ended Thursday. The companies agreed that Gazprom would hold a presentation of Russia's unified gas supply systems when a Brazilian delegation visited Moscow in May. The delegates will also be shown Russian gas facilities. The visit is expected to yield more specific bilateral agreements.
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