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Gazprom ready to enter the Irish market

Russian behemoth Gazprom, has secured a license to operate in the €2 billion-plus Irish market and could be here by the end of the year.

The license was secured late last year by UK-based Gazprom Marketing and Trading Retail Limited -- a subsidiary of the Russian titan, which has a market capitalization of over $330 billion. According to Jon Feingold, managing director of Gazprom Marketing and Trading Retail Limited’s retail operation, Gazprom expects to take 10 to 15% of the Irish gas market in the first five years. “We would target particular high-end commercial customers as well as the power stations,” he said. He added that the company has not ruled out an acquisition-led entry to the market. However, it could also look at entering by pumping gas from Russia into Ireland via inter-connectors with Britain, where the company already operates in the commercial market. The market is made even more attractive by the fact that about 90% of the gas used in Ireland is imported. In addition, Ireland’s off-shore reserves are depleting, with Kinsale due to run out in five to six years. The new Corrib gas field is not expected to start producing gas until 2009 (indipendent.ie)