This article originally appeared at Natural Gas Europe
Gazprom scored some goals also on Friday. In a few hours, it signed Shareholders’ Agreement on the Nord Stream 2 project; agreed with Austria’s over the importance of long-term cooperation; and more importantly, it signed an agreement to close the deal on the exchange of assets with ’s subsidiary Wintershall Holding.
‘Today in Vladivostok as part of the Eastern Economic Forum Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Board of Gazprom, and Kurt Bock, BASF’s Chief Executive Officer, signed an agreement to close the deal on the exchange of assets between Gazprom and the company Wintershall Holding GmbH’ reads a note released on Friday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the surprise U-turn underscores the challenge multinationals face navigating the standoff between Russia and the West over separatist violence in Ukraine.
The multibillion-euro asset swap with Germany’s BASF seemed dead in December 2014. BASF will expand its oil and gas production, while exiting gas trading and storage. Gazprom will control a jointly operated European gas trading and storage business, including the biggest underground gas storage facility in western Europe.
Meanwhile, Gazprom also reached other agreements. Miller met with OMV CEO Rainer Seele. If the deal is concluded, OMV will acquire a 24.98 per cent stake in the in the development of Areas IV and V of the Achimov formation of the Urengoy oil, gas and condensate field in Russia, in exchange for a participation in assets of OMV.
“This agreement is another step towards cooperation along the entire value chain with Gazprom. We are importing gas from Russia for our European customers. We are investing together into the security of supply realizing the Nord Stream 2 project and we are now extending our trustful partnership towards the production of natural gas in Siberia,” Rainer Seele commented.
“Nord Stream 2 will double the throughput of our direct, state-of-the-art gas supply route via the Baltic Sea. It is important that those are mostly the new gas volumes, which will be sought for in Europe due to the continuous decline in its domestic production.The fact that the global energy majors participate in the project bespeaks its significance for securing reliable gas supply to European consumers,” Miller commented.