revista presei pe energie 22 noiembrie – part II


Vocea Rusiei: Vedomosti: Petrolul dauneaza Rusiei

Tarile europene vor trebui sa exporte mai mult, iar Rusia sa reduca dependenta de petrol

Banca Europeana pentru Reconstructie si Dezvoltare (BERD) constata ca in anul 2010 reformele au cunoscut o incetinire in intreaga lume. Majoritatea tarilor incep sa se refaca treptat, ritmul cel mai lent inregistrandu-se in Europa de Sud-Est. In anul 2011 refacerea va continua in primul rand pe seama exportului, consumul intern crescand lent, noteaza Vedomosti.

Tarile in curs de dezvoltare au avut de suferit de pe urma crizei mai mult decat tarile dezvoltate datorita dependentei puternice de afluxul de capital. Acestea au nevoie de reforme structurale radicale, dupa parerea bancii: este necesar ca sa se renunte la imprumuturile externe si sa se orienteze spre dezvoltarea pietelor financiare proprii. In perioada de criza o asemenea reteta pare stranie, deoarece creditele straine constituie in majoritatea cazurilor singurul instrument de finantare, dar se considera ca anume criza poate obliga tarile sa reexamineze conceptual maodelul de finantare a cresterii.

Principalul risc pentru Rusia il constituie oscilatiile preturilor pe pietele mondiale, in primul rand, la petrol, constata BERD. Reformele se desfasoara prea lent, este nevoie de restructurarea intreprinderilor, liberalizarea preturilor, privatizare, dezvoltarea infrastructurii, a sectoarelor bancar si financiar.

“Reformele s-au oprit din cauza crizei, iar cresterea preturilor la resursele energetice este privita cu scepticism”, sustine analistul Evgheni Gavrilenkov de la “Troika Dialog”. In urmatorii 5-10 ani structura economiei nu se poate schimba in mod radical si nu se va putea reduce dependenta de petrol, ponderea veniturilor  la buget de pe urma titeiului si gazelor fiind de 27,5%.

Potentialul divesificarii economiei Rusiei este limitat de concurenta de pe pietele externe. De exemplu, cu China nu se poate concura in realizarea produselor de consum, iar cu Europa nu se poate concura in urmatorii zece ani pe piata tehnologiilor inalte. Singura cale este dezvoltarea sectorului industrial de aparare.

RIA Novosti: Further increase in Russian gas extraction tax possible says finance minister

Russia could possibly increase its gas mineral extraction tax (MET), whilst potential for boosting oil MET is exhausted, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Friday.

In July 2010, Kudrin said he was looking to raise the oil and gas extraction tax to 0.5 percent of GDP, which would amount to $6 billion, to plug the country’s 5.9 percent budget deficit.

The increase in gas MET will be the first since 2005. Gas producers currently pay 147 rubles ($4.81) per 1,000 cubic meters of gas extracted.

The taxes will continue rising until 2013, resulting in an 80 percent increase in the gas MET and a 12 percent increase in the oil MET.

“I believe there is potential for raising the gas MET,” Kudrin said.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom makes no concessions on gas price to Europe – Putin

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has not made any concessions on the price of natural gas to European consumers, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“They [European consumers] are really raising these questions [on price reduction], at least during the crisis when the demand for gas declined but Gazprom made concessions on no issues,” Putin said after a meeting with his counterparts from the Commonwealth of Independent States in St. Petersburg.

In early 2010, a number of Gazprom’s European partners, including Germany’s E.On Ruhrgas and France’s GDF Suez, asked the Russian giant, which supplies more than a quarter of Europe’s natural gas needs, to reduce the gas price mentioned in the long-term contracts.

The European companies cited changes on the gas market after the global financial crisis, such as the decline in gas demand.

RIA Novosti: Russia to discuss gas prices with Belarus – Putin

Russia will discuss natural gas prices with Belarus though they are already at a minimum, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday.

“Our Belarusian friends, our partners, receive gas at the lowest prices,” Putin told journalists after a meeting of the Council of CIS premiers and the EurAsEC Intergovernmental Council. EurAsEC comprises Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

“Nevertheless, we will certainly discuss all problems today,” he said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom’s Deputy CEO Andrei Kruglov said on October 1 the company would raise its gas price for Belarus from the current $185 to $220 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2011.

The company’s CEO, Alexei Miller, said a week later that Russia had no plans to revise the gas contract with Belarus as there were no problems with the current agreement.

Belarus has made no secret of its desire to negotiate a better price for Russian gas, citing the deal Ukraine received after President Viktor Yanukovych was elected in February. Yanukovych moved swiftly to improve ties with Moscow, and discounted gas prices were settled when the two sides agreed to extend Russia’s use of a key naval base on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

In contrast to the rosy ties with Kiev, relations between Moscow and Minsk have seriously deteriorated in recent months. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in October accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of trying to pass Russia off as the country’s main enemy in a bid to boost his popularity ahead of presidential elections in December.

Russia slashed supplies to Belarus in a row over gas payments in June, but later resumed them after Minsk paid off its $200 million debt to Gazprom.

Putin also said Russia will heed the CIS economic court’s recommendation to cancel export duties on oil products delivered to Belarus.

Belarus insists that duties on the re-export of Russian oil be canceled. Duties on the re-export of Russian oil were introduced as Belarusian refineries bought oil from Russia at domestic market prices and sold refined petroleum products in Europe. The export tax on these petroleum products went to the Belarusian budget.

Moscow and Minsk faced off at the start of the year over tariffs on imports of Russian oil, which Belarus said should be completely duty-free in the Customs Union the two states are part of together with Kazakhstan.

The introduction of oil export duties forced Belarus to halve crude oil exports in the first half of 2010. Export of petroleum products was lowered by 40%, and the output of Belarus’s oil industry by 30%.

A total of 6.3 million metric tons of oil is annually supplied to Belarus duty-free.

Putin said Friday this amount was enough for the country’s domestic demands, but Belarusian oil refineries also work for export, that is why Belarus is seeking duty cancelation and is looking for alternative oil supplies.

RIA Novosti: Turkmenistan ready to supply up to 40 bcm of gas to Europe

Turkmenistan is building an infrastructure that would enable it to supply up to 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Baimurad Khodzhamukhamedov said Friday.

“There is no need for European countries to worry. We are building an infrastructure designed for 40 bcm of gas,” Khodzhamukhamedov, in charge of the Central Asian country’s fuel and energy sector, said at an oil and gas conference.

Turkmenistan, holding the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves, is looking to diversify exports from its traditional destination of Russia and may become one of the key gas suppliers to the EU-supported Nabucco project.

The Nabucco project, supposed to pump gas from the Caspian region to European countries via Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria, is a key element of the western strategy to cut Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies.

The $11-billion pipeline is expected to have an annual capacity of 31 billion cubic meters of gas, or no more than 5% of Europe’s gas consumption in 2020. Gazprom braces for stiffer EU competition

The European Union is considering gas market liberalization, and proposing easier pipeline network access for independent producers. For Gazprom being the world’s largest producer is no longer enough to guarantee its dominance of the market.

Last year Gazprom sales to Europe fell about 12% due to the economic downturn. Demand is now recovering, but at the same time the Russian gas monopoly is facing ever stiffer competition.The European Union favours diversity in the gas market and wants to liberalize the transportation networks. Russia dislikes the idea, but Werner Auli, Member of the Executive Board at OMV believes it has little to fear.

“Liberalized market means that every supplier can enter the market and can deliver his good to the market. In the end this will be in favour of Gazprom because it is a big player and they also have a chance to enter the market directly, to go to the customer and deliver the gas to the customer. This liberalization is also good for Europe, it’s good for the trust in the customer.”

Another threat to Russian gas comes from global companies taking a keener interest in gas.Gazprom is facing an increased competition in Europe particularly from alternative sources of gas production. Energy majors such as Shell which traditionally focused on oil production are now paying more attention to developing their gas businesses.

Aleksandr Nazarov, analyst at IFC Metropol believes Gazprom’s bigger threat are existing international gas producers

“I cannot reject the fact that the share of gas revenues in total structure of oil and gas majors is increasing, while oil revenue share is decreasing. But actually the main competition for Gazprom in Europe comes not from oil and gas majors, but from Qatar and African gas producers. I think majors like Shell and Exxon Mobil are trying to catch the market.Maybe Gazprom should do the same. “

Gazprom is not unaware of the problems it faces in Europe. Analysts believe it needs to be more flexible in its pricing and long-term contracts – something the company is reluctant to do for the moment. Instead it’s focusing on diversifying its customer base in the fast growing markets of Asia and India.

ITAR TASS: Russia, EU to discuss common energy space formation

The participants in a jubilee conference, which will open here Monday on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Russia-EU energy dialogue, will discuss the formation of a common energy space. Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger will participate in the forum, the press service of the Russian Energy Ministry told Itar-Tass.

“The participants in the conference will discuss the formation of a common energy space and the prospects for the development of European and Russian energy markets for decades to come,” the press service reported. “The conference is also to consider the hydrocarbons transit and the early warning procedure,” the press service said. “The forum will also highlight the legal basis in Russia-EU energy cooperation,” he added.

Shmatko will also attend a session of the Russia-EU Permanent Partnership Council on Energy in Brussels.

Ahead of the Brussels conference State Duma Vice-Speaker and President of the Russian Gas Society Valery Yazev told Itar-Tass about the issues, which Russia will raise at the forum. Specifically, Yazev intends to discuss the third EU energy package, which will enter into force in the spring of 2011. The package sets the rules for the competition on the EU energy market, including the compulsory equal access of energy companies to the transport energy infrastructure, as well as the compulsory separation of the structures engaged in the energy supplies from the power generation companies.

These provisions “will make the investors less motivated to create a transport energy structure, including for our Gazprom,” Yazev stated. He believes that the investments, which the Russian gas giant had already made, “lose their interest, and it is not interesting any longer to create new gas distribution networks and buy the assets in Europe.”

In reply to a question how Russia could protect the country’s energy sector from the undesirable consequences of the third European energy package coming into effect, the State Duma vice-speaker noted that “the basic provisions of the package in the domestic legislations of the EU states are being implemented.” “At this stage some changes can be made,” he believes. “Alongside, we have formed two working groups to minimize the negative consequences the law enforcement practice after the third energy package enters into force. One working group is between the EU and Russia, the second one between the Russian Gas Society and Eurogas,” the lawmaker recalled. “We will continue the discussions in this format,” the State Duma vice-speaker added.

“We realize that the law is the law and it is approved, but (a mutually acceptable) solution should be found,” Yazev noted. “Our position is that the third energy package should be put into practice starting from the gas hubs, where Russian gas supplies are made. We delivered the gas to Baumgarten (the gas distribution stations and gas storage facilities in Austria) and then do what you want,” he pointed out. “There are some variants in this issue,” Yazev underlined.

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