3 Sep 2009 12:37

CORRECTED: Gazprom continues to prepare for asset swap with E.ON

(Headline adjusted, text re-written up to and including fourth paragraph)

MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Gazprom continues to prepare for an asset swap with Germany's E.ON.

Gazprom said in a statement that its stake in Severneftegazprom, which holds the license to the Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, had decreased from 65% (75% + 2 voting shares) to 43.33% (50.0015%) on August 21.

A source familiar with the transaction told Interfax that Gazprom's stake in the operating company had decreased as the result of a stake now held by a member of the Gazprom Group that is based in the Netherlands and that will subsequently conduct the asset swap with E.ON.

Earlier reports said that E.ON was due to receive 25% minus three ordinary shares and minus three preferred shares without voting rights in Severneftegazprom in exchange for 49% in the Gerosgaz joint venture, which owns 2.93% of Gazprom shares. The transfer would give the gas giant full ownership of the 2.93% stake.

BASF, which is E.ON's long-standing rival in relations with Gazprom, gained entry to the Yuzhno-Russkoye project at the end of 2007 (the transaction was configured in the summer of 2006). BASF paid for its participation by reducing its stake in a trading joint venture between Gazprom and Wingas from 65% to 51% and with stakes in Libyan concessions.

The Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field, located in the Krasnoselkupsky district of Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, is a Cenoman formation (gas with a low condensate content). It contains more than 1 trillion cubic meters of gas, including 700 bcm proven reserves and 500 bcm recoverable gas.