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Gazprom Receives Russian Cabinet Approval In Sibneft Deal

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov's government has approved state-controlled gas monopoly OAO Gazprom's purchase of the Sibneft oil company in a deal that will give the state control over one-third of Russia's oil output.

Citing the government press service, the ITAR-Tass news agency said last week that the government had approved a draft directive instructing government representatives on the Gazprom board to vote in favor of the purchase announced on 28 September. That opens the way for the Gazprom board to approve the deal by a vote in coming days.

Gazprom, the world's biggest gas producer and a key supplier to Europe, announced that it would pay over $13 billion in a deal that will put it in control of over 75% of Sibneft's shares.

Sibirskaya Neftyanaya Kompaniya, or Sibneft, is controlled by billionaire Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich.

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Posted 19/10/05

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