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Bloomberg: Gazprom’s Miller Hospitalized With Kidney Ailment (Update1)

EXTRACT: Miller had been expected to meet with chief executives of international energy companies including Tony Hayward of BP Plc and Jeroen van der Veer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this weekend. Shell last year agreed to cede control of its $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project to Gazprom after Russian regulators tried to derail the project on environmental grounds.

By Maria Ermakova

June 6 (Bloomberg) — OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller, who has run the world’s largest gas company for six years, is being treated for a kidney ailment in a Moscow hospital and may not return to work for weeks.

“Miller was hospitalized at the end of last week,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said by mobile phone today. “He has a chronic disease related to the kidneys. Complications occurred during the treatment process and he needs to stay in hospital for some time.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Miller chief executive of state-run Gazprom in May 2001 as part of a wider campaign to gain control of the company from executives appointed under former President Boris Yeltsin.

Miller, 45, worked for Putin in the St. Petersburg city government a decade ago, as did Deputy Chief Executive Officer and finance chief Andrei Kruglov, who is running the company in Miller’s absence, according to Kupriyanov.

Miller had been expected to meet with chief executives of international energy companies including Tony Hayward of BP Plc and Jeroen van der Veer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this weekend.

Shell last year agreed to cede control of its $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project to Gazprom after Russian regulators tried to derail the project on environmental grounds.

Regulators are now threatening to revoke the license BP’s Russian unit holds for Kovytka, a deposit in Siberia with enough gas to meet Asian demand for five years. Gazprom, which enjoys a monopoly on Russian gas exports, has been negotiating to join the Kovykta project for years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Ermakova in Moscow at [email protected] .

Last Updated: June 6, 2007 02:43 EDT

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