News // Oil and gas worldwide
Gazprom's energy projects in Middle East
11 May 2010 , 08:41Upstream2690
Russia's energy giant Gazprom hopes to boost its participation in Middle East energy projects by joining the pan-Arabian pipeline to bring natural gas to Lebanon from Syria, a Kremlin official said. Reuters reported the comments yesterday ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev two-day visit to Damascus starting today. "We are stretching our hand: we want to study a possibility of gas shipments from Syria to Lebanon, for example, by using the pan-Arabian pipeline capacity," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity of the matter. He did not elaborate.
Another Russian company, Stroitransgaz, one of Gazprom's main contractors, has taken part in the construction of the first and second stages of the pipeline. Stroitransgaz, in which an influential oil trader Gennady Timchenko is a major shareholder, last year also commissioned a gas processing plant in central Syria, and is building another such plant 75 kilometres south of the city of Al-Rakka. The pan-Arabian pipeline is designed to bring gas from Egypt and will run through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.
"Gazprom is ready to look into possibilities of taking part in oil and gas project in Syria if it's highly economically viable," the Kremlin official said. He added that Gazprom's subsidiary Georesurs was set to participate in tenders to explore oil wells in Syria. Gazprom has already heavily invested in Iran's giant South Pars gas field. The company had also formed the 'gas troika' with Iran and the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter Qatar to jointly implement gas projects.
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