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“Gazprom” is interested not only in Europe

The performance of the deputy chairman of board of OJSC “Gazprom”, the general director of OJSC “Gazprom export” Alexander Medvedev became one of the most interesting performances at a meeting of editors of mass-media with Gazprom management in which our correspondent has taken part also.

Just he supervises the foreign trade activity of Gazprom and who does not like him can tell about the work of the largest Russian company in foreign markets, about plans and problems. How the policy still influences economy …

Today we publish Alexander Medvedev's reflections about the development of projects of “Gazprom” in the near future.

- Hardly more than month ago it was possible for me to be present on event which remains in the center of attention of the world press till now. The heads of Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands have started the regular deliveries of the Russian gas on the pipeline laid on a bottom of the Baltic Sea in the German city Lubmin on November, 8. The delivery of “blue fuel” to the clients in the European Union countries without the participation of any transits became possible. Earlier such deliveries were possible only to the next Finland.

What represents “Nord Stream” which quite deserves the name of “megaproject”? The gas pipeline, the length of which is 1224 km will consist of two threads, the throughput of each is 27, 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. While the first of them is started up; it has connected the power supply system of the European Union with the largest deposits of natural gas located in Russia. The project promotes the development of the power market of EU and is the important factor in maintenance of power safety of Europe. The European Parliament and the European council have appropriated the status of the priority project to it, “equitable to the interests of all Europe”.

Really, the gas can arrive to Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and other countries through “Nord Stream” and the reception terminal in Lubmin. After the access of gas pipeline to full operational capacity it can annually deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas during minimum 50 years. This volume is enough for annual supply more than 26 million households in the EU countries.


This international project is realized by the largest European companies: the German “Wintershall” and Е.Он, the Dutch “Gasunie” and French “GDF-SUEZ" participate in it along with Gazprom. Its budget is 7,4 billion euro that allows to provide the companies with work and to create additional workplaces in 11 countries of Europe. I’m convinced that “Nord Stream” should play one of key roles in supply of Europe with the Russian gas. According to the forecasts of the European Commission, Europe will require to 200 billion cubic meters of import gas annually in addition to nowadays consumed volumes by 2030 year. And recently Mr. Ettinger supervising the questions of power in European commission, even has approached this date by 2020 year. It is practically tomorrow according to the measures accepted by gasmen.

The infrastructure which partly still should be created by him is necessary for satisfaction of such requirements. Only the first stage of “Nord Stream” is started up in Lubmin on November, 8 and the construction of the second turn proceeds. But the far-sighted people have got used to look at prospect. And you for certain know that there is an idea of the construction of the third and, probably, subsequent threads. It isn’t a fantasy for me.

At the same time, according to the plan, there is a work on realization of even more scale undertaking — the project “South Stream”. The preparation of the combined feasibility study (CFS) is finished and the vessels went to the Black Sea, which should spend complex researches. However, there are also certain braking factors, for example, the absence of the promised permission of Turkey to the works in a zone of its economic waters for a long time. But, I hope, this question will be shortly solved.

It is possible to say with confidence about the all-European scale of this project. The expansion of structure of its participants testifies it also. On October, 2011, the agreement of shareholders was signed in Sochi according to which among those who should carry out the building of the sea piece of a line, there were the German company “Wintershall” and French “Electricite dе France”. “Wintershall” is our old partner, we cooperate already more than two ten years. Including the frameworks of “Nord Stream”. And we are glad that our interaction has found one more, so significant side.

Optimism is installed also by some decisions accepted at national level in the countries through the territory of which “South Stream” will take place. So, on December 1, the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria declared this gas pipeline as the object of national value regarding the building in the Bulgarian territory. Such status allows to spend the ecological estimation, procedures of alienation of the earth faster. And as a whole it will accelerate the gas pipeline building on the Bulgarian lot.

Shortly before, on November 21, the first object of “South Stream” is placed in operation in the territory of Serbia – the underground storehouse of gas “Banatski courtyard”. It is one of the largest similar objects in Southeast Europe and it is capable to accept to 450 million cubic meters of active gas and to provide the selection of 5 million cubic meters of gas per twenty-four hours. It is the factor of additional reliability of export deliveries of the Russian natural gas to Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Nord Stream” and “South Stream” are the vivid examples of not simply successful interaction of the leading gas companies of some countries, directed on the development of the international cooperation and maintenance of reliability of deliveries. It is the example of collective strategic thinking that once again testifies to efficiency of association of efforts. Undoubtedly, it will help Gazprom to achieve one of overall objectives, namely the routes diversification of gas delivery.

In order to reach the set goals, we actively work over strengthening of positions in the traditional markets, at the same time, aspiring to expansion of geography of deliveries and business escalating in sphere of liquefied natural gas.

Europe was, is and there will be the main commodity market of “blue fuel” for Gazprom Group. The West European market absorbs about three quarters of our export and the basic consumers of the Russian natural gas are Germany, Turkey, Italy and France. We successfully diversify the export routes in Europe to secure against unpredictable actions of some transits.

The pipes can be stretched now in other direction, just to Asia. This region, judging by available forecasts of growth of gas consumption, becomes rather attractive market. It is enough to take our east neighbor China, which is the largest on territory and population. According to the estimations of the government of the People’s Republic of China, the demand for natural gas in the country will exceed to 300 billion cubic meters per year by 2020 year. It gives the grounds to assert that anyway there will be a place for deliveries of the Russian gas in the Chinese market even if the Chinese colleagues will reach successes in production of own shale gas. And there are such plans in the People’s Republic of China and they actively work over their realization.

We consider a variant of pipeline export of gas to China in two corridors, in total to 68 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It is comparable to the capacities of each of two European streams — “Nord” and “South”. It is clear that there can’t be any trifles at such volumes therefore the negotiations go hardly with the Chinese party. But there is a progress nevertheless, almost all parameters are coordinated and as the Russian prime minister has declared recently, we are on the threshold of the contract conclusion.

Viewed : 1705   Commented: 0

Author: Владимир Кузменкин

Publication date : 07 January 2012 01:00

Source: The world and we

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