Tambeineftegaz, Repsol to set up joint venture before April

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MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy company Tambeineftegaz will create a joint venture with Spanish-Argentine major Repsol by the end of the month, the company's board chairman said Monday.

Nikolai Bogachev told journalists that Tambeineftegaz would own 51% of the Yamal LNG company, while Repsol would own 21%. The remainder will belong to a major international company that Bogachev declined to name.

He said talks had been held with U.S. firm Anadarko, but added they had been suspended.

The joint venture will develop the Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye deposit, which has reserves of 1.2 trillion cu m of natural gas. The project envisions on-site gas production and construction of a plant to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Yamal Peninsula in Siberia for further transportation to Canada.

Bogachev said overall investment into the project would be $4-5 billion. The joint venture will issue shares worth $200 million at the first stage.

The project will produce its first gas in 2010.

Russia's largest private natural-gas producer, Novatek, sold a blocking stake in Tambeineftegaz to Gazprombank-Invest, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, in summer 2005.

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