Russia’s Alrosa joins forces with Angolan energy firms for hydrocarbons exploration

12 July 2007

Moscow, Russia, 12 July – Russian state diamond company Alrosa has announced it will prospect for oil and gas in Angola in partnership with Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, and Dark Oil, media have reported.

Russian news agency Ria Novosti said Alrosa signed an accord Monday with the two Angolan companies to undertake geological surveys in Baixa Congo and Kwanza North provinces between the Etocha, Okavango and Cassanje river basins.

Alrosa’s CEO, Sergei Vybornov, said recently that the Angolan project was “very promising”, adding his company was initially investing US$ 50 million in the venture.

Alrosa holds a 32.8% stake in Angola’s largest diamond company, SMC, the same shareholding as concessionaire Endiama.

Brazil’s Odebrecht and Daumonty are other SMC shareholders. The company had earnings of nearly US$ 400 million last year.

Alrosa is responsible for about a quarter of world diamond production and sold precious stones worth US$ 2.86 billion in 2006. (macauhub)