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Russia is planning to compensate for lower gas export supplies with growing supplies in the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The agency Bloomberg reported on Monday that the Russian gas major Gazprom and Japanese companies Itochu and Japan Petroleum Exploration will sign a basic agreement at an APEC summit to build a gas liquefaction plant in Vladivostok. Meanwhile, the experts believe that the Russian gas sales on Oriental markets will face some problems.
“The Russian strategy in energy resources envisages 22-25% of oil export supplies in the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region by 2020. Now this indicator is at the level of 8-9%,” deputy director of the Russian Centre of EurAsEC Studies, Russian ambassador Gleb Ivashentsov stated. “There is also the task to increase gas export supplies up to 20% in Asia,” he said. Meanwhile, he noted that “there is some problem in the gas industry.” “Gas can be delivered to all other countries as liquefied gas by sea,” he noted. “We have only one gas liquefaction plant in the Russian Far East on Sakhalin at the port Korsakov. There is some demand for gas, so, gas liquefaction plants should be built,” he said.
“APEC should cut the energy intensity of the economies by 45% by 2035. The ways to fulfil this task are being discussed,” he said. The question is only whether Russia will be able to take its niche in this division of the consumer markets.
The doubts are getting particularly stronger, if to take a look at the statistics, the newspaper noted. On Monday, the central controlling directorate of the fuel and energy sector has made public quite unpleasant figures. The gas production in Russia went down 3.3% in January-August 2012 against the similar period in the previous year to 427.962 billion cubic metres. Whereas the gas exports went down eight percent to 121.487 billion cubic metres. The largest Russian gas producer Gazprom decreased the gas production by 6.6% to 316.073 billion cubic metres in January-August and produced 32.031 billion cubic metres that is 3.6% down in August.
The experts polled by the newspaper, noted that Russia has some chances to gain the leading positions on the market in the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, taking into account a lower consumption of energy resources in Europe. But it is sooner oil, not gas.
“Since the gas supplies along the pipelines in Europe are on the decline over the general reduction of gas consumption in the EU states and the competition over liquefied gas from the countries in the Middle East, Gazprom needs badly to develop its own liquefied gas capacities and broaden its presence in the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region,” co-director of the analytical department of the Investcafe agency Grigory Birg believes. “The agreement becomes more important over the fact that another project, under which Gazprom was also planning to produce liquefied gas that is the Shtokman gas project is frozen for an indefinite period of time,” he remarked.
For his part, partner of the consulting company RusEnergy Mikhail Krutikhin believes that the decline in the gas production and exports is already a tendency, which not only independent experts, but also various agencies are speaking about, particularly the Ministry of Economic Development. As for gas, Russia has obviously weak positions, the analyst believes. “At least China does not plan Russian gas supplies in the near future. China does not agree to buy Russian gas even at the cost price,” Krutikhin underlined.