Gazprom eyes western European firms

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Russian gas giant Gazprom Neft is considering acquiring several companies in western Europe, according to a senior figure within its ranks.

Deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev told the German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the company was still looking at western Europe - although he declined to identify any firms it saw as potential targets.

"Of course there is the option of investing in eestern Europe," the AFX newswire quotes him as telling the newspaper.

He also said that Gazprom executives would this week meet up with counterparts from E.ON to negotiate the 25 per cent stake the German energy giant is hoping to acquire in the Siberian gas field at Yushno Ruzkoje.

"There remains hope that we will come to an agreement in this difficult phase," he commented.

Details of the assets that E.ON will offer to Gazprom in exchange for the stake in the Siberian field have yet to emerge - although it is thought that E.ON-owned Powergen might be somehow included in the deal.

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