Gazprom Sees Profits from UK Division Top [Pound]30m ; ENERGY_Russia
Webb, Tim, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
The UK arm of the Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom made record profits last year after selling 60 per cent more gas than in 2005.
Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GMT) increased pre-tax profits in 2006 by a third to [pound]33.4m compared with the previous year. Overall revenues almost tripled to [pound]1.5bn.
The results, to be announced this week, come as GMT's parent Gazprom faces hostility in the UK over its perceived links with President Vladimir Putin. Gazprom sells a quarter of all gas used by Europe's domestic suppliers, such as British Gas.
Writing in The Times last week, Tony Blair said: "We are now faced with countries, like Russia, who are prepared to use their energy resources as an instrument of policy."
On the same day, the Government published its energy White Paper warning of the pitfalls of relying on gas from unstable countries. Russian authorities are in the process of stripping BP's Russian subsidiary of its licence to operate the huge Kovykta field, which could be sold to Gazprom instead. …