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Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer, is “optimistic” that it will settle its pricing disputes with European companies without the need for arbitration, said Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev.
“I do hope that within the course of a couple of months we will reach a compromise,” Medvedev said in an interview in New York today. The companies, currently in a dispute over prices with Russia’s gas-export monopoly “will accept approximately the same terms” reached with other European clients, he said.
Germany’s largest utilities EON AG and RWE AG are embroiled in a arbitration with Gazprom over pricing and volumes after losing money buying fuel at above-market rates. Moscow-based Gazprom said on Jan. 17 that it revised the price formula for clients including Germany’s Wingas, GDF Suez SA of France and Sinergie Italiane Srl.
American depositary receipts of Gazprom gained 0.7 percent to $12.74 in New York today, the highest level since Feb. 13. One depositary receipt is equal to two ordinary shares. Shares fell 0.8 percent on Moscow’s Micex index, to 190.08 rubles, or $6.31.
The European Union buys about 25 percent of its gas from Russia, typically on fixed-term contracts linked to the price of oil.
Medvedev declined to comment on whether Gazprom will bid for assets of BG Group Plc that the U.K.’s third-largest natural-gas producer plans to sell in the next two years.
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