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Alrosa Seeks Investors for Gas Assets After $1 Billion VTB Deal

OAO Alrosa, Russia’s government-run diamond company, will seek investors for its natural-gas assets after repurchasing them from VTB Group for $1.04 billion.

State-run VTB bought Geotransgaz and Urengoy Gas Co. assets from Alrosa in 2009 to help the producer through the financial crisis. Alrosa has hired VTB Capital to advise on developing the projects and attracting strategic investors, it said today in a statement. The company has a preliminary deal to sell 25 percent to 26 percent to state oil and gas producer OAO Zarubezhneft.

The assets have resources of 187 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 26.4 million metric tons of gas condensate in northern Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Alrosa said. It may start output of 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas and 250,000 tons of condensate a year from the fourth quarter.

Output is seen reaching a maximum annual 4 billion cubic meters of gas and 1 million tons of gas condensate, the producer said. Alrosa decided last year to focus on diamond mining and sell other assets including iron ore and natural-gas projects.

The diamond producer announced today that it completed the purchase of 100 percent of the gas assets.

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