Prague (Czech Republic) hosted today a working meeting betweenAlexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Petr Necas, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic as part of the 14th Annual General Meeting of the European Business Congress.
The parties discussed the current issues and the prospects for cooperation deepening in the energy sector. It was noted that the Russian-Czech partnership in the petroleum industry was mutually beneficial and the long-term contracts underpinning natural gas exports to the country were also a cornerstone of the regional energy security. In addition, the meeting focused on the execution of new gas export pipeline projects.
During the negotiations Alexey Miller emphasized that in 2010, with the recovery of European economies after the crisis, the Czech Republic had become the fastest growing importer of Russian gas: Gazprom's exports to the country grew 33 per cent versus 2009.
In 1967 the former Czechoslovakia became the first country to receive natural gas from Russia via a gas export trunkline.
In 2010 the Czech Republic was supplied with 8.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas by Gazprom export.
RWE Transgas is Gazprom Group's key partner in the Czech Republic. The effective contracts for natural gas supply from Russia to the Czech Republic and for gas transfer across the country were made with RWE Transgas in 1998 and 1999 respectively, and extended through to 2035 in 2006.
The natural gas market in the Czech Republic was liberalized as part of the EU policy pursued since January 1, 2007. In March 2006 Gazprom export and Vemex s.r.o. inked the contract for gas supply to the Czech Republic providing for real diversification of gas supplies to the national market and access to the end consumer in the Czech Republic through Gazprom Group's stake in Vemex.
Under the long-term contract signed by Gazprom export and Vemex on October 10, 2007, the Czech Republic will annually receive up to 500 million cubic meters of gas between 2008 and 2012. There is a provision made for a potential 5-year extension of the contract.