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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gazprom Won't Begin Libya Talks Until There Is 'Legitimate' Regime

- Gazprom Won't Begin Libya Talks Until There Is 'Legitimate' Regime

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Dow Jones Newswires
by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

Gazprom won't begin talks on restarting its projects in Libya until a "legitimate" regime is in place in the North African country, the company said Tuesday.

Gazprom halted work at oil concessions C96 and C97--a joint project with Wintershall, a unit of German chemical giant, producing 100,000 barrel a day when unrest broke out in the country in February. One of the projects is in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya's coast, while the second is Block 64 located in the Gadames oil province, .

"We would like to return to Libya as soon as possible," a Gazprom spokesman said.

"But until Libya has a legitimate government in place, we won't start negotiations," he said.

Wintershall said Monday that production at the C96 and C97 concessions could be restarted within several weeks, depending "on the state of the export infrastructure as well as a stable security situation in the country."

Plans by Gazprom's oil unit Gazprom Neft to acquire a 33% stake in ENI's Elephant field in Libya were also delayed due to the unrest in the country. The company said in April the deal would be finalized when the situation stabilizes in Libya, but declined to comment Tuesday.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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