Uzmanov Sells 75% Stake in Yamal LNG

January 30, 2009

By Amie Ferris-Rotman , Reuters

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov has sold his majority stake in a gigantic gas deposit to the banking arm of Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, taking its share in the field to 100 percent, a paper said on Friday.

The metals tycoon sold his 75 percent share in Yamal LNG, a firm which operates one of the biggest gas fields in Russia, Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye, which has estimated reserves of 1.3 trillion metres of gas, Vedomosti business daily said, quoting Usmanov.

Gazprom's Gazprombank already had a blocking stake of 25 percent in Yamal LNG, which it acquired three years ago.

Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer and supplier of a quarter of Europe's gas, is rapidly expanding into the booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) market.

LNG shipments from the Gazprom-controlled Sakhalin-2 projects on the Pacific island by the same name are expected to launch sometime in the first quarter of this year, marking the firm's first LNG shipments.

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