Putin holds conference on gas industry issues in Novy Urengoi

Nov 21, 2001 01:00 AM

President Vladimir Putin of Russia held a conference on gas industry problems in Novy Urengoi (in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District), the centre of the Russian gas sector. Putin pointed out that Russia's impressive gas reserves of more than 210 tcm allowed gas companies, primarily Gazprom, to ignore extraction efficiency. In addition to gas extraction, an unfavourable situation has been observed in Russian gas exports.
Thus, Russian gas is sold by intermediary companies in Europe at several times the price charged by Gazprom for its supplies. Under the circumstances, Putin spoke of the need for full-scale Gazprom stock-taking, including its long-term contracts. Gazprom was urged to seek end-users and avoid intermediaries.

Outlining Gazprom's investment strategy, Putin stressed the need for investment in gas refining to alleviate the negative effect of a possible fall in Gazprom's export revenues. According to Putin, the existing approach to domestic price formation, which is guided by social considerations, should also be adjusted.
The conferees were told that gas prices will remain unchanged in Russia until next spring, after which gradual price hikes by 30 % will follow.

Source: Kommersant via NewsBase
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