Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Great Game, Part II

The New New Great Game. Same rules, different players, different pieces.
Gazprom Offers to Buy All Libya's Oil and Gas Exports (Update1)

By Lucian Kim

July 9 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom offered to buy all of Libya's oil and natural gas destined for export as Russia's largest energy producer strives to expand on global markets.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi ``positively received'' the proposal during a visit by Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller, the Moscow-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Russia, the world's largest producer of natural gas, is seeking to lead closer coordination among nations that produce the fuel. Moscow will host a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum later this year.

Libya, Africa's third-largest oil producer, wants to build new energy partnerships after nearly two decades of international sanctions. Gazprom today received a proposal to help build ``new gas transportation capacity'' from Libya to Europe, the state-run Russian company said.

The two sides agreed to start talks on Gazprom buying ``available volumes of Libyan hydrocarbons,'' according to the statement. They also agreed to set up a joint venture to modernize existing oil refineries and build new plants.

Gazprom considers the country its priority partner in North Africa and has registered a unit called Gazprom Libya in Tripoli, the company said. Less than a month ago Gazprom opened its first African office in neighboring Algeria.

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