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6

No Discriminating Access To Pipelines Anymore

Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia's head has submitted to Industry and Energy Ministry and to Economic Development Ministry the documents on gas market promotion

Igor Artemiev, head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, has submitted to Industry and Energy Ministry and to Economic Development Ministry the documents on gas market promotion. Among them is the long-anticipated draft ruling on non-discriminating access to gas trunk-line system that will allow the Cabinet to give go-ahead to selling Gazprom?s gas at free prices, Kommersant daily reported.

Gazprom suggested establishing an exchange for free gas sale as far back as in 2002. In March of 2005, it offered to completely abandon control over the gas prices for industrial enterprises starting from 2006, launching a pilot project this third quarter.

The document concerning the pilot project on gas sale at free prices, advocates introduction of market technologies already in 2005. The parties involved will be Gazprom and its affiliates (up to 5 billion cub. m) on the one hand, and independent producers (equal volume) on the other hand. Moreover, the volume of Gazprom?s gas sold at free prices won?t exceed the volume of gas provided by independent producers and Gazprom should ensure the shipment of independent gas via the United Gas Supply System. Another provision of interest requires that procedures for selling gas at free prices should be defined before November 1, 2005.