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Gazprom Neft, Novatek Counter Rosneft Gas Deal

Gazprom Neft and Novatek are in talks to buy Italian energy company Enel's indirect stake in gas producer SeverEnergia, which Enel has just agreed to sell to Rosneft, a Novatek co-owner said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Rosneft agreed to buy Enel's 40 percent stake in Arctic Russia B.V., leading to Rosneft's indirect ownership of a 19.6 percent stake in SeverEnergia, where 51 percent is owned by a Gazprom Neft and Novatek joint venture.

But Gennady Timchenko, a co-owner of Novatek, said Novatek and Gazprom Neft were in their own talks over the stake, signaling a row between him and Igor Sechin, the powerful chief executive of Rosneft.

"Based on what I saw in Rosneft's statement, there are some suspensive conditions," he said, Prime news agency reported.

Italy's Eni also has an indirect stake in SeverEnergia, a production venture with assets in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region.

Gazprom, the parent company of Gazprom Neft, and Rosneft also clashed Wednesday over plans by the latter and Exxon to build a liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in the Far East. Gazprom voiced strong opposition to the plans, while Rosneft dismissed its criticism, saying it did not need advice from rivals.

Gazprom voiced strong opposition to the plans, while Rosneft dismissed its criticism, saying it did not need advice from rivals.

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