Gazprom gobbles up Minsk transit company

MOSCOW, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Russian energy giant Gazprom purchased a 12.5 percent stake in a Belorussian gas transit company, raising its holdings in the company to 50 percent.

Gazprom increased its holdings in transit company Beltransgaz to 50 percent through a $625 million purchase, Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Gazprom in 2007 agreed to take 50 percent of the company shares in a series of 12.5 percent tranches.

Beltransgaz is the state operator of more than 4,000 miles of pipeline networks. It is included as a partner in the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline through the country. Moscow said building a second leg of the Yamal-Europe pipeline through Belarus would contribute to a diverse regional energy sector.

Gazprom and Beltransgaz in 2006 signed a deal that calls on Belarus to pay for its gas at rates equal to European prices beginning in 2011.

Gazprom in June ordered Belarus to hand over $244 million in gas debts or risk supply cuts. The dispute emerged over the differences between prices outlined in the 2006 contract and average market prices for gas.


Partners: Social Network