EGF Gazprom Monitor, Issue 22, March 2013

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A Snapshot of Key Developments in the External Relations of the Russian Gas Sector
By Jack Sharples, EGF Associate Researcher on the external dimensions of Russian gas

Key points:

  • Lietuvos Dujos confirms its decision to spin off its gas transport business by the 31st of July 2013, with Gazprom and E.On expected to sell their stakes in the Lithuanian gas utility by October 2014; Gazprom agrees a deal with the Czech-based MND Group to construct a new underground gas storage facility in the Czech Republic by 2016; Gazprom signs a long-term gas supply contract with Serbia; Gazprom denies reports that it has offered to fund the restructuring of Cypriot banks in exchange for gas exploration rights in Cyprus" exclusive economic zone
  • Gazprom is unlikely to offer significant gas price cuts to Ukraine, as the company dismisses Ukrainian plans to import more gas from other European sources; The European Commission supports the idea of a trilateral consortium including Naftogaz, Gazprom, and European energy companies to manage Ukraine"s gas transport system
  • Nord Stream has operated at just 27 percent of its capacity since the launch of the second string in October 2012
  • Gazprom is reportedly considering constructing a spur of South Stream to Greece, but stands by its decision to remove the Greece-Italy connection from the project. The fate of South Stream"s spur to Greece may well be decided by the outcome of the privatisation of Greece"s national gas utility, DEPA, in which Gazprom is considering bidding for a stake
  • Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on gas supplies via the Eastern route, and hope to sign a gas supply contract by the end of 2013
  • Russia"s Energy Ministry supports proposals for the export of LNG by Novatek and Rosneft to the Asia-Pacific region, but insists that Gazprom retains its monopoly on gas exports to Europe; Gazprom to complete its purchase of Kyrgyzstan"s national gas system by the end of March.

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