Gazprom’s delegation visits France
December 22, 2008 - Led by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee a Gazprom delegation today paid a working visit to France.
As part of the visit Alexey Miller met with Gerard Mestrallet, Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ, Jean-Francois Cirelli, Vice Chairman and President of GDF SUEZ and Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive Officer of Total Holding.
During the meeting with the GDF SUEZ top management the parties discussed the current issues of Russian gas supplies to France, as well as the new opportunities for interaction between Gazprom and GDF SUEZ on the international energy markets, including the LNG sector.
It was stated at the meeting that the Nord Stream project was of great significance to GDF SUEZ. The company was interested in its successful implementation and expressed deep concern in entering the project as a minority partner.
At the meeting with Total CEO, the parties addressed the implementation of the first phase of the Shtokman project and the prospects for furthering the cooperation between the companies.
The parties gave a positive evaluation of the work done by the special purpose company Shtokman Development AG relevant to the preparation of the front-end engineering design and the feasibility study for the project.
Based on the meeting results the parties expressed a unanimous opinion that the long-term mutually beneficial cooperation of Gazprom and French energy companies, involving the entire production chain - form upstream to downstream, was an essential factor for European energy supply security.
Alexey Miller also informed his colleagues on the existing complicated situation surrounding the relationship with Ukraine.
"Gazprom will fulfill its contractual obligations to the European consumers and will endeavor to make Ukraine fulfill its international obligations on transit," declared Alexey Miller.
Gazprom supplies around 29 per cent of gas imports to France.
The cooperation between Gazprom and Gaz de France in the area of gas supply was launched in September 1975. Over this period Gazprom supplied France with more than 290 bcm of gas, with some 10 bcm supplied in 2007.
In November 2005 Gazprom and Gaz de France struck the first pipeline gas for LNG swap deal. In early December 2005 a tanker filled with LNG was sold to Shell Western LNG at the Cove Point regasification terminal (Maryland, USA).
In December 2006 Gazprom and Gaz de France signed the Agreement to extend the existing contracts for Russian gas supply to France up to 2030. In addition, an agreement was reached to launch extra gas supplies to Gaz de France via the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The annual gas supply volume will be 2.5 bcm.
Gazprom also received an opportunity to directly deliver gas to final consumers in France in the amount of up to 1.5 bcmpa starting from October 2007.
Being one of the largest European energy companies, GDF SUEZ was incorporated in 2008 as a result of the merger between Gaz de France and SUEZ.
GDF SUEZ deals with power generation and implements natural gas exploration, production, processing and marketing projects.
On 13 July 2007 Gazprom and Total signed the Framework Agreement on the Main Terms of cooperation in the development of the first phase of the Shtokman gas condensate field. Gazprom and StatoilHydro signed a similar Agreement on 25 October 2007.
Under the Agreements, February 2008 saw the setting up of a special purpose company, Shtokman Development AG. Gazprom holds 51 per cent in the company's equity capital, Total and StatoilHydro hold 25 and 24 per cent respectively.