Gazprom, the enormous Russian gas monopoly, is mulling buying Greece’s DEPA, according to a statement cited by Reuters.The Greek state has been planning to sell the state-owned gas company in part of a privatization process hoping to raise 19 billion euros ($24 billion).
Its not immediately clear present how much of DEPA would be sold, and whether its pipelines would be included. Gazprom would need to get its bid in by March 22, Ria Novosti reports.
Gazprom’s move would appear to be part of a plan to safeguard the “South Stream”, a planned oil pipeline due to run through the Black Sea to Southern Europe and lessen the pressure on the “North Stream”, which has created political antagonism between Russia and the Ukraine, through which it runs.
Tightening its grip on Europe’s gas supply and lessening the Ukraine’s bargaining power may be a good move for Gazprom — the company has floundered in Asian markets where it does not enjoy monopoly status.
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