Russia’s Gazprom proposes natural gas stations for Europe

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MOSCOW, June 28, 2008 (AFP) – The chief executive of Russian energy giant Gazprom has proposed setting up a European network of service stations for cars fuelled by natural gas, as an alternative to petrol. “We are proposing to our European partners the creation of a network of natural gas stations in Europe with the participation of Gazprom,” Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller told a shareholders’ meeting in Moscow.

“Considering the price of petrol, gas is a real alternative. The price of a car running on petrol is 1.7 times more than the price of running on natural gas in Germany for example,” Miller said.

“There is no realistic alternative to the use of hydrocarbons at the moment and there won’t be for decades to come. The attempt to replace car fuel with biofuel has led to a global food crisis,” he said.

Gazprom, a state-controlled monopoly, controls a quarter of the world’s gas reserves, supplies around a quarter of Europe’s gas and is planning to increase its role in the gas retail business in Europe.

The use of gas-fuelled cars is still limited in Europe and the United States and there are few natural gas stations, but the fuel is seen as cheaper and more environmentally friendl