Dec 11, 2006

Gazprom Says Shell Makes Offer on Russia's Sakhalin-2

Gazprom said Royal Dutch Shell Plc made new proposals for the Russian company to join its $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture, as President Vladimir Putin expands his control of the world's biggest energy industry.

Reuters earlier reported that Shell agreed to cede state-run Gazprom a majority stake in Sakhalin-2. Moscow-based Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov and Shell Russia Vice President Maxim Shoob declined to confirm or deny the Reuters report, which cited unidentified industry people.

Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to hand over control of the $22 billion energy project in Sakhalin to Russia’s state monopoly Gazprom is a victory for Russia’s new hardline policy on energy. It is also a warning to Western business that investment in Putin’s Russia still carries real risks, writes Michael Binyon of The Times.

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