Russian President Vladimir Putin said Gazprom should encourage new investment, adopt latest technologies and energetically seek prospective markets.
"Today our priority task is to increase Gazprom's efficiency and competitive potential in the international market," Putin said at a reception in the Kremlin Hall on the 15th anniversary of the company.
"To achieve this, new investment should be encouraged, modern standards of corporate management should be used and the latest technologies of extraction and processing should be adopted," Putin said.
Lucrative deposits in Yamal, the Far East and Eastern Siberia as well as difficult deposits in the northern sea shelves will be up for development in the very near future, Putin said.
"Russia export interests and the economic logic demand bolder and more energetic efforts to gain a foothold in the most promising and growing markets," he said.
He noted that he meant not only Europe, where Gazprom is becoming a leader.
"While increasing its share in the European direction, Gazprom should more actively seek new markets of natural gas, including those in the Asia-Pacific Region, North America and other continents," he said.
Russia eyes joint energy projects with Iraq
Russia hopes to launch joint projects with Iraq in the oil, gas and electric power sectors, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday at the meeting with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.
"We are hoping to launch promising joint projects, first of all, in the oil and gas sector and in the electric power industry. Our energy specialists have long been working in difficult conditions in Iraq, for instance, in Baghdad, Basra and Nasiriyah," Lavrov said.
"We are exceptionally interested in this and we would like to render assistance to friendly Iraq," Lavrov stressed.
The Russian and Iraqi foreign ministers have signed a memorandum of intent to develop trade, economic and technical-scientific cooperation.
"This document will seal the political understanding that we have reached," Lavrov said.
Zebari said: "This is quite a comprehensive document which covers practically all spheres of cooperation between our states."
The Russian Finance Ministry said that the Russian and Iraqi governments signed an agreement to write off Iraq's debt to Russia, related to the credits provided earlier, at the fifth meeting of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission for trade, economic and technical-scientific cooperation.
Under the agreement, Russia will write off Iraq's total debt related to the credits that had been provided by the former Soviet Union. The total debt to be written off is $12.9 billion.
U.S., Kazakhstan to launch new production facilities
U.S.-Kazakhstan venture Tengizchevroil joint-stock company has put into operation new production facilities.
The two sides are planning a stage-by-stage doubling of oil production at the Tengiz oil-and-gas field (western Kazakh Atyrau Region).
Tengizchevroil and its major shareholder, Chevron, simultaneously announced on Jan. 29 the launch of oil production as part of the first phase of the project to expand production capacities.
The two sides will also begin a project to pump crude gas and part of a project involving a second-generation plant.
Closing oil prices, Feb. 13, 3 p.m. London
Brent crude oil: $93.14
West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $92.81