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Ian Craig to keep post as Sakhalin Energy CEO

A contract with the chief executive of Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project has been extended for 2009

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, has said earlier that Gazprom, which holds a controlling stake in the Sakhalin II project, was looking for a new chief executive for Sakhalin Energy and had even selected several candidates for the post.

But Thursday Medvedev has changed his statement, saying that Ian Craig will remain for the whole of the next year.

The $20 billion Sakhalin II project includes the Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye oil and gas fields on Sakhalin Island's northeastern shelf, with recoverable reserves estimated at 150 million tons (1.1 billion barrels) of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The minority partners in the project, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, currently hold 27.5%, 12.5% and 10% stakes in the project, respectively. Gazprom acquired a controlling 50% plus-one-share stake in the project in December 2006.