14:37 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Gazprom-Mitarbeiter an einem Gas- und Öllager (Archivbild)

    Russian Energy Minister: Gazprom, OMV Continuing Talks on Asset Swap Deal

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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - Russian energy giant Gazprom and its Austrian counterpart OMV are still continuing their long-standing negotiations on the exchange of assets, but the direct sale of a stake in the project in the Siberian gas field is not on the table, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

    Last month, Reuters reported, citing insiders, that the talks between the companies may result in the direct sale of Gazprom’s assets rather that the asset swap as it was initially planned. According to the media outlet, the change of plans is caused by Norway opposing the swap as Gazprom was expected to receive a stake in OMV's business in Norway in exchange for its stake in the Urengoy gas field in the Russian region of Siberia.

    “No, currently the negotiations revolve around the asset swap and the work has not been finished, it will be continued. I am sure that a relevant decision would be found,” Novak told reporters late on Tuesday, while answering the question whether the direct sale of Gazprom’s assets is being discussed.

    However, the bilateral deal was slowed down by the Norwegian parliamentary election that took place in September, according to OMV Head Rainer Seele.

    In January, OMV representative Brigitte Koeck told Sputnik that the deal is expected to be finished in late 2018. According to the plans, OMV will receive a 24.98-percent share in the development project at two sites of the Achimov deposits of the Urengoy field, while Gazprom will receive 38.5 percent of Norwegian OMV (Norge) AS.

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