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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasyanov Meets With Shell To Discuss New Investment

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov met the head of international oil major Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday and talked about the possibility of new investments, Kasyanov's spokeswoman said.

"Kasyanov met with Philip Watts, chairman of the committee of managing directors of Royal Dutch Shell. They discussed current projects, and Watts expressed interest in new projects in Russia," Tatyana Razbash said. She declined to name any new projects.

The meeting came just hours after another Western oil giant, BP, said it would raise its stake in medium-sized oil company Sidanco to 25 percent from 10 percent, a strong sign of renewed foreign interest in the country's oil sector.

Shell's Watts also met Gazprom head Alexei Miller and invited Miller's company to participate in developing an oil and gas project near the Far East Sakhalin Island, Gazprom said in a statement. The statement gave no details and Gazprom officials were not immediately available for comment.

A source in Shell's Moscow office said that details of Gazprom's participation in the huge Sakhalin-2 project, in which Royal Dutch Shell holds a 55 percent stake, were subject for further discussion.

"Concrete details will be discussed only if Gazprom, as well as other shareholders, agree that Gazprom's participation in the project is useful," the source said.

Royal Dutch Shell already has invested up to $2 billion in the project, together with its Japanese partners Mitsui and Mitsubishi. It plans to raise investment to some $10 billion over the next few years to build the world's largest liquid natural gas plant.

Among other issues Watts and Miller discussed were prospects to jointly explore the vast Arctic Zapolyarnoye gas field operated by Gazprom, the Gazprom statement said.

Watts said a joint venture to explore Zapolyarnoye could be set up in 2002 and gas supplies to Europe from the field could start in 2006.