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Exxon still talking to Chinese on Sakhalin gas

China-flag Exxon Mobil Corp is still in talks with China to sell natural gas from its Sakhalin-1 project in Russia, despite moves by Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom to block these plans, Exxon Senior Vice President Mark Albers said on Tuesday.

"We are in continuing dialogue with the Chinese to try to conclude that with a sale and purchase agreement," Albers told reporters at the CERA Week energy conference.

"We are open to proposals from others to provide the most value. So while we are working with the Chinese we have also been in discussions with Gazprom," he said.

Gazprom asked the Russian government in June to block Exxon from selling Sakhalin gas in Asia, saying the output was needed for Russia's domestic market.

Last week, a Gazprom executive said the company expects to sign a deal to buy the entire annual gas output from the field in April or May.

Exxon's partners in the project are Russian state oil firm Rosneft, Japan's Itochu  and Marubeni and India's ONGC.

"Our objective is to provide the most value to the Russian Federation government, our partners and our shareholders," Albers said.

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