Naftogaz of Ukraine eager to do business with Beltransgaz, Belorusne

National gas and oil monopoly Naftogaz of Ukraine is interested in accomplishing joint projects together with Belarusian gas company Beltransgaz and oil company Belorusneft, BelTA learnt from Alexander Sidorchuk, head of the Belarusian representation of Naftogaz of Ukraine.

Organizational procedures concerning the opening of the representative office of the Ukrainian company in Minsk are close to completion. The office will be fully functional as from October, said Alexander Sidorchuk. The Belarusian representation is dedicated to fostering the cooperation of the Ukrainian oil and gas industry with Belarusian companies and finding interesting joint projects, including projects in third countries, he remarked.

The office will also contribute to implementing Belarusian-Ukrainian interstate agreements concerning energy industry. Alexander Sidorchuk remarked, the Belarusian side is considering the possibility of using Ukrainian natural gas storage facilities. Experts are already discussing it. "We have sent our proposals to the Belarusian side," he said. As far as joint gas transportation projects are concerned, the head of the representative office said there is interest in such projects, but Russia should be involved as well. These projects are supposed to increase the throughput capacity of existing pipelines and build new compressor stations. Agreement of the Russian side is necessary for implementing the projects, he explained.

Naftogaz of Ukraine also plans to promote cooperation with Belorusneft. In particular, the Ukrainian side is interested in taking part in building underground gas and oil storage facilities in Belarus. The cooperation may be applied to technologies and designing. The official noted, Belorusneft's foreign projects also look interesting. "We could cooperate in Venezuela and Iran," he said. Naftogaz of Ukraine is a monopolist in pipelining natural gas and oil in Ukraine and the country's largest oil and gas extracting company. Naftogaz of Ukraine accounts for over 97% of oil and gas extracted in the country. The company employs 170 thousand people. (