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Rosneft maps out plan to end Gazprom’s gas export monopoly

January 30, 2014, 20:34 UTC+3 30

Rosneft suggests reform of the gas sector in two stages

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© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

MOSCOW, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian oil giant Rosneft has prepared a plan to abolish Gazprom’s monopoly for gas exports, a source in the industry familiar with the document told Itar-Tass. A source in the government confirmed proposals were under consideration, but no structured concept was yet on the table.

According to one of the sources, Rosneft suggests reform of the gas sector in two stages. At the preparatory stage the oil giant proposes an equal-profits price (equal domestic and export prices), provide market players with equal access to gas transportation system and implement a pilot project for access to export outlet.

Furthermore, the plan provides for turning the gas transportation system into a state-regulated independent company, setting up a gas exchange and giving all market participants opportunity to export gas.

“Since 27% of the market is held by independent gas producers, the issue is already high on the agenda,” said a source in the government.

Meanwhile, Rosneft’s official told Itar-Tass the company did not comment on the government’s decisions but executed them: “There are just no reasons to comment now.”

As it was reported earlier, Russian draft energy strategy until 2035, which the Ministry of Energy presented on January 23, 2014, suggests separating Gazprom’s gas transportation business from production. Gazprom’s natural monopoly business should be split from competitive operations, while regulations of wholesale prices should be then abandoned in favor of regulation of tariffs for gas transportation along main pipelines, the document goes.

Rosneft’s President Igor Sechin repeatedly mentioned the company’s plans to boost gas production to 100 billion cubic meters a year by 2020. In particular, last December he said a gas strategy was being adjusted following acquisition of new assets, namely consolidation of 100 percent of Itera gas company. He said gas was one of the company’s priorities and Rosneft was actively dealing with organic gas production growth in Rospan International and Itera. The strategy included an LNG plant, he added.

Rosneft’s gas reserves as of late 2013 were 6.6 trillion cubic meters (category A+B+C1+C2). According to interim estimates, consolidated gas production in 2013 given asset acquisition is expected at 41 billion cubic meters. Gas accounts for 32% of Rosneft’s hydrocarbon reserves and made almost 10 percent of the company’s production.

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