GAZPROM'S TAKEOVER OF ROSNEFT WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR FUTURE OF RUSSIA'S OIL & GAS SECTOR, ANALYSTS SAY

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MOSCOW, OCTOBER 27 (RIA Novosti) - The takeover of Rosneft by Gazprom will be crucial for the future of Russia's entire oil and gas sector, argues Konstantin Simonov, Director General of the Political Situation Studies Center.

"The opinion is now openly expressed that the merger of Gazprom and Rosneft will lead to the creation of a new company incorporating almost all of [the country's] oil assets. I believe that the future of the oil and gas sector will depend on how the Gazprom-Rosneft merger goes," Mr Simonov pointed out. The analyst is optimistic about the prospective deal. "Specifically, I expect the merger to give a boost to the development the petrochemical industry," he said.

In Mr Simonov's view, the new venture may become a competitive, vertically-integrated company, with interests in associated sectors, the one capable of producing oil and gas in large quantities, but doing so "within the framework of some competition logic, within the game rules established in this state."

"I am hopeful that the merger of Gazprom and Rosneft will result in the emergence of a state-oriented player, who will be maintaining normal competition relations with other market players," Mr Simonov pointed out.

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