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5 Dec, 2008 11:59

Gazprom set to take part in Dutch underground gas storage project

Gazprom's CEO Alexey Miller has hold talks with Netherlands Economic Minister, Maria von der Hoeven. They agreed to develop an underground gas storage in Holland for Russian gas coming through Nord Stream when it is completed.

The meeting comes as TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy company, announced that it had signed a memorandum of Understanding with Gazprom to jointly develop the Bergermeer gas storage project in the Netherlands.  Taqa, said construction is expected to start in the second quarter of next year, with commercial operations scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2013.

The Netherlands Economic Minister told Business RT that further issues remain to be clarified, but that all parties wanted the project to proceed.

“We are going to realise an underground storage for Russian gas in Netherlands. So that means you can cover the peaks in winter. It is now between Gazprom and TAQA, and within TAQA there is EPN, that’s a Dutch party. So I think this is fairly important because it will make sure that Russian gas, the moment that Nord Stream is ready, can be stored and can be used in the Netherlands.   And talking about Nord Stream, I know that the Swedish authorities were very keen on the documents on Nord stream.  I know that everybody wants to be within the lines, wants to comply with ESPO regulations, so I really do have good hopes that will be realised.”   

RT: What is your opinion on Gazprom entering the Netherlands downstream market through a possible acquisition of the Essent company?

“That's another thing we discussed.  Essent is one of our major companies.  Its very interested in gas from Gazprom, and we decided yesterday there will be an expert meeting, a follow up, and then we will talk about 5 Billion cubic metres of gas per year.  So that’s quite an enormous amount.  But of course these things have to be finalised and have to be discussed but we have made the decision that we are going to do it.”

RT; Victor Zubkov talked about the possibility of a Dutch companies participating in the Sochi Olympics project. Did the companies expressed willingness to participate?

“Oh yes, the willingness is there.  But now the question is how to transform the willingness into real action, and there is some information that is not yet available so that’s why First Deputy Prime Minister Zubkov proposed to have a round table at the begging of the next year – to clarify these issues.  We are going to make up a list of companies that might be of interest to Sochi, and of course, from the Russian side there also will be a list and then we have a roundtable together.”

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