Ukraine Admits To Signing $1 Billion Gas Deal With Unauthorized Man

Category: World / Nov 30, 2012 12:05PM EDT
Ukraine has confirmed that on Monday (November 30) it signed a $1.1 billion gas contract for constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Black Sea coast with an unauthorized man. The Ukrainian state investment agency, which spearheaded the deal, has identified the man as Jordi Sarda Bonvehi. An agency official said he had been a middleman in the talks with Gas Natural. The ink was scarcely dry on the agreement, which was signed in front of Prime Minister and the energy minister, when Barcelona-based Gas Natural publicly denied the man was its representative and said there was no contract. With speculation rife in Ukraine that heads will roll over the fiasco, the state investment agency issued a statement saying it was contacting Barcelona-based Gas Natural to find out whether it was still committed to the LNG terminal project. The project itself forms part of efforts by Ukraine to cut dependence on expensive pipeline gas from Russia. Gas Natural denied on Wednesday (November 27) it had given any mandate for a deal in Ukraine. The company has a presence in 25 countries, but does not have any business in Ukraine.