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Gazprom against sharing Russian resources with foreigners

image Russia’s Gazprom opposes foreign participation in the country’s oil and gas projects, according to a senior official of the gas giant. But additional pressure on foreign energy companies working in Russia could prove detrimental for the country’s investment climate.

Aleksandr Ananenkov is Deputy Chairman of the management committee.

“A handover of control over the Far Eastern projects to foreigners led to an infringement of Russia's national interests, an attempt to turn Russian gas consumers in the area into "poor relatives" who see their gas siphoned off,” he said

Ananekov sighted Sakhalin-I and Sakhalin-II oil and gas projects and the Kharyaga oil field in northern Russia as examples of negative experiences.

Officials have repeatedly voiced concern about Sakhalin-I's output growing abroad instead of the growing domestic market, where gas prices are a fraction of those in Europe.

Konstantin Simonov of Russia’s Energy Security Fund says foreigners have a lot to offer in the oil and gas sector.

“It’s impossible to speak about development of Russian oil and gas sectors without foreign companies because of the lack of technologies and money. And main Putin’s idea is exchange of assets,” he said. 

Experts say the statement could signal that Gazprom, which last year took control of one of the world biggest fields Sakhalin-II from Royal Dutch Shell, is now eyeing Sakhalin-I, currently run by Exxon Mobil.

Exxon’s subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, and Japan's Sodeco have 30% each in the project, while Russia's Rosneft and India's ONGC hold 20% each.
According to business daily Vedomosti, earlier this year Gazprom held talks with Exxon and Rosneft on entering Sakhalin-I project, but failed to reach an agreement.

Experts repeatedly said if the state - through Gazprom - continues to flex its muscle in the energy sector, could hurt Russia’s investment climate.

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