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Russian antimonopoly watchdog backs giving Novatek access to Gazprom’s export channel

March 23, 2016, 19:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Novatek asked the authorities to allow it to export gas to Europe via Gazprom Export

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service supports the idea of gas exports of Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek via the single export channel of Gazprom, head of the FAS Igor Artemyev told reporters on Thursday

"We support all its initiatives [of Novatek - TASS] but there are initiatives that have something to do with us and there are some that don’t," he said adding that the given issues is not part of the regulator’s authority.

Earlier this week head of Novatek Leonid Mikhelson said that his company is discussing with Gazprom Export the purchase of 2-3 billion cubic meters of gas for to its customers in Europe. According to him, this would increase the share of Russian gas on the market.

Earlier, Vedomosti newspaper reported that Novatek asked the authorities to allow it to export gas to Europe via Gazprom Export.

The publication referred to the letter from Energy Minister Alexander Novak to President Vladimir Putin it had at its disposal. According to the letter dated February 18 Novatek asked the authorities to allow its Swiss trader Novatek Gaz & Power Gmbh (NGP, 100% owned by the Russian company) to supply gas to European consumers of Arcticgaz (joint venture of Novatek and Gazprom Neft).

At the end of 2015 the trader contracted to 3.1 billion cubic meters, of which 0.7 billion cubic meters were from Russia.

According to the letter, NGP could buy all the gas for European consumers in Russia and as a result Russian gas exports to the EU would grow by 2.4 billion cubic meters per year.

The idea is that Gazprom buys gas of Arcticgaz at the price of export gas, according to the newspaper.

Later Energy Minister Alexander Novak confirmed that he had sent the letter to the President but it concerned the relations between Gazprom and Novatek on the domestic market. At the same time the Energy Ministry’s position on the export of gas to Europe has not changed - the decision on export is taken by Gazprom.

Russia’s state owned oil company Rosneft repeatedly said that it would like to have the possibility to export gas to Europe.

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