Russia’s energy giant Gazprom hopes to enhance its participation in Middle East energy projects by joining the pan-Arabian pipeline to bring natural gas to Lebanon from Syria, a Kremlin official said.
His comments were cleared for publication on Sunday ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev two-day visit to Damascus starting on Monday.
"We are stretching our hand: we want to study a possibility of gas shipments from Syria to Lebanon, for example, by using the pan-Arabian pipeline capacity," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity of the matter.
He did not elaborate.
Another Russian company, Stroitransgaz, one of the main Gazprom’s contractors, has taken part in the construction of the first and second stages of the pipeline.
Stroitransgaz, in which an influential oil trader Gennady Timchenko is a major shareholder, last year also commissioned a gas processing plant in central Syria, and is building another such plant 75 kilometers south of the city of Al-Rakka.
The pan-Arabian pipeline is designed to bring gas from Egypt and will run through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.