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19

Gas and energy producers frighten each other

Gazprom can of course say that energy producers consume too much gas. There are no good consumers from the point of view of payment for monopoly. Besides those who extract more and more gas, tend to export it, or at least to sell it to solvent Russian consumers.

Gazprom can of course say that energy producers consume too much gas. There are no good consumers from the point of view of payment for monopoly. Besides those who extract more and more gas, tend to export it, or at least to sell it to solvent Russian consumers. The gas monopoly still can try to beaten off independent suppliers by declaring the absence of free transport capacities and general problems with legal mutual relations with "extraneous" receivers. Soon this situation will change: in December the government will consider various variants of liberalization of the Russian gas market. For energy producers competition between Gazprom and oilmen is favorable. As the result they can increase consumption of gas, which is much cheaper than coal and black oil.

Key problem is price and not only for the electric power, but also for gas. So gas producers, and energy producers threaten each other that in future they can refuse mutual services, at least partially. Gazprom and independent gas extractors plan investments in construction of power stations. And energy producers, firstly, have already complained the central office on gas monopoly Mezhregiongaz, trying to deliver them gas under higher prices, secondly, try to buy gas from oilmen, and thirdly, extract gas themselves.

After Gazprom could not realize because of warm winter 10 billion cubic meters of gas this year and itself (not to lose the planned incomes) has presented the energy producers as a gift unexpected generous deliveries of fuel, its requirements for escalating volumes of coal extraction by the Russian Open Society " UES of Russia " began to sound more and more quiet. Meanwhile Gazprom?s controlling-auditing management has started checking "Mezhregiongaz", which was caused by the letter of the head of Russian Open Society " UES of Russia ", Anatoly Chubais, to Gazprom management. This situation couldn?t not to arise. As Gazprom is compelled to deliver gas to the enterprises of the Russian Open Society at fixed prices whereas the oilmen can set free prices.

At the same time independent manufacturers learn to solve the problems connected with realization of their production. For example, YUKOS plans to unite and make self-sufficient gas and energy directions of its business. Apparently, one of the reasons, which have induced the company to buy shares in "Belgorodenergo", "Kubanenergo", "Tomskenergo", "Tambovenergo" and "Stavropolenergo", was distribution of its own gas. According to experts of YUKOS, the volume of electric power production by 2005 will reach 13 billion kVt an hour, and use of its own gas should optimize productions both for the company, and for the specified joint-stock energy producing companies. As the result of all this Gazprom, which is anxious about opportunity of losing its best consumers, has deprived "Mezhregiongaz" of the right of gas limits distribution. Now this will be done by the commission under direction of the vice-president of board of monopoly, Alexander Riazanov.

In the meantime energy producers this year, probably, will consume record quantity of gas for the last several years. Now Russian Open Society " UES " even more often speaks about economy, which will be achieved due to increase of use of gas and reduction of harmful influence for ecology. According to this tendency the Ural energy managing company (UEUK), for example, will save 10 million rubles by the end of this year. Under its supervision one month ago were transferred "Tumenenergo" and "Kurganenergo". And the first thing, which was done by the management of UEUK - was transferring Kurgan thermal power station (basic enterprise of " Kurganenergo ") to 100% use of gas. Other managing company - "ESN-energo", working with Murmansk energy system "Kolenergo" has acted in a different way. Recently it began to show significant interest to gas projects itself. One of these days the company has signed the memorandum of cooperation with Italian energy company ENEL which, by the way, already tried to buy gas in Russia last summer, around its national monopolist - gas company ENI.

The results of the second call of ENEL on the Russian gas market will be known soon and whether other European companies (Е.Оn, Ruhrgas), which watch closely prospects of gas reform in Russia, get lucky, time will show.

Author: Vasilii Gin

Source : Neftegaz.ru