Russia's Gazprom on Friday signed on as a partner in a Libyan oil development project alongside the Italian corporation Eni, company officials said. The Russian energy giant will pay 163 million dollars to take over a 33-per-cent stake in Libya''s Elephant oil field, purchasing half of the shares in the venture owned by Eni. South Korea''s state-owned oil company in Libya will continue to hold a 33-per-cent stake and Libya''s national oil company will own the remaining single share, news agency Interfax reported. The total cost of developing the Elephant field, some 800 kilometres south of the capital Tripoli, has been estimated at 500 million dollars. Some energy industry observers had predicted that Russia''s loyalty to Gaddafi, and its criticism of a NATO bombardment against the insurgency, would lock Russian companies out of Libyan energy ventures once the rebels came to power.