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EU energy chief ‘worried’ about Gazprom-Sonatrach agreement

European Union Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said that a lack of information about a Russian-Algerian energy cooperation agreement has fueled concerns among EU regulators that the deal may create a cartel. OAO Gazprom, Russia's biggest natural-gas company, and OAO Lukoil, the country's largest oil producer, agreed on Aug. 4 to consider producing and processing the fuels with Sonatrach of Algeria. Russia and Algeria are Europe's two biggest gas suppliers. „Definitely we are worried about it,” he said. „In the energy business, a lot of it is about trust. If you don't have sufficient information, than definitely you should be worried, because you can't exclude that parts of the deal could form some kind of cartel.” Representatives from the EU will be meeting with the companies in October to try to get more information about the proposed agreement, he said. Last month, Piebalgs had said that the agreement didn't pose any threats to the EU and wouldn't lead to higher gas prices. (Bloomberg)