30 Apr 2010 18:31

Gazprom, Naftogaz Ukrainy to discuss possible merger after May holidays

SOCHI. April 30 (Interfax) - Russian Gazprom and Ukrainian national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, as well as the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministries, will discuss the issue of merging Gazprom and Naftogaz after the May holidays, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told journalists following Russian-Ukrainian talks in Sochi.

"The Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers, Sergei Shmatko and Yuriy Boyko, Naftogaz head Yevgeny Bakulin and I will meet immediately after the May holidays in Moscow to discuss this," Miller said.

"We will discuss a possible asset swap, but in essence this involves a merger of the companies," he said.

Gazprom has transacted a number of asset swaps with its partners in Germany and Italy, Miller said. Ukraine has considerable production, transportation and underground storage assets. "Gazprom also has very substantial assets," Miller said.

Ukraine would receive access to Russian gas reserves. "We have huge reserves. There is enough gas for everyone in the 21st century," he said.

Russia for its part will invest in production and Ukraine's gas transportation system.

"We of course will be interested in investing in Ukraine's gas transportation system. We are uniting and therefore are interested in investment in both production resources and gas transportation system resources," he said.