Gasunie and Gazprom Sign MoU for Pipeline Cooperation

EJSC "Gazprom" and N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation towards joint participation of both companies in the projects of North European Gas Pipeline and BBL, as well as towards the use of transport capacity of the Gasunie system. The agreement was signed in the central office of JSC "Gazprom" by Alexei Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of JSC "Gazprom" and Marcel Kramer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie in the presence of Joop Wijn, Minister of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands.

In accordance with the document Gazprom will receive a share in BBL Company, while Gasunie will keep at least 51% of the shares. Gasunie will also get up to 9% of share in the capital of North European Gas Pipeline Company.

Parties will investigate the possibilities of using Gasunie gas infrastructure by Gazprom, including gas storage. The parties agreed to finalise arrangements for the contracting of long term Gasunie transport capacity by Gazprom through the national grid of The Netherlands.

"Gasunie is very pleased with this Memorandum of Understanding as a next step towards our final agreement. The co-operation is excellent and is fully supported by the authorities of both countries, which is of great importance to the project of this magnitude", said Marcel Kramer.

"The signed Memorandum brings our co-operation with Gasunie on a new quality phase. By uniting efforts and expertise we will be able to successfully realize large-scale projects, aimed at secure and long term gas supply to the European consumers", stated Alexei Miller.

N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie) is a gas infrastructure and transportation company. The company owns the Dutch gas transmission network, which is one of the largest gas distribution networks in Europe, with a total length of nearly 12.000 km. and an annual throughput of almost 100 bcm.

The Dutch company BBL Company (BBL: Balgzand Bacton Line) is responsible for constructing and operating the BBL pipeline (connecting The Netherlands and the UK). The shareholders of BBL Company are Gasunie (60%), E.ON Ruhrgas (20%) and Fluxys (20%).

The joint Russian–German venture North European Gas Pipeline Company (NEGP) was founded in December 2005 for designing, constructing and operating the North European Gas Pipeline to be laid on the sea bed of the Baltic Sea. Gazprom holds 51% of shares in the company's capital, BASF and E.ON Ruhrgas – 24.5% each. Upon completing the deal with Gasunie BASF and E.ON will sell to the company 4.5% of shares each. (Since 4 October 2006 the pipeline bears the new name Nord Stream, and the company involved Nord Stream AG.