BP warned by Russia it may lose $18 bln gas field
Gazprom, which controls Russia's gas pipelines, opposed TNK-BP's plans to break its monopoly by supplying fuel directly to China or South Korea from the Kovykta, which holds 2 trillion cubic meters of gas, enough to power Asia for about six years. Gazprom, which produces a majority of Russia's gas, is developing a competing project to supply the fuel to the Irkutsk region. Russia this month threatened to cancel Shell's permit to finish building pipelines and a plant to liquefy natural gas at the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project. Rusia Petroleum must supply 9 billion cubic meters of gas to the local market starting from this year, according to the prosecutor's office statement. The Kovykta project is in limbo because Russia's Natural Resources Ministry hasn't approved amendments TNK-BP submitted that would defer the start of full output to 2009, Anatoly Ledovskikh, the head of Russia's state agency for natural resource use, said May 31. East Siberian Gas Co., equally owned by the Irkutsk region government and TNK-BP, planned to supply as much as 2.8 billion cubic meters of gas a year staring in 2010, East Siberian said last December. (Bloomberg)
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