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Gazprom makes decisions on other producers’ gas


Gazprom has not received a stake in the Sakhalin oil and gas projects yet, but it is already making decisions about gas produced by other companies. The state-controlled monopoly has promised to ensure gas deliveries to the entire island, using gas from Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II projects.

The gas giant has long been eyeing Sakhalin. So far it has managed to secure a foothold through its oil-producing subsidiary, Gazprom Neft, which holds a license for the Lopukhovsky area, with estimated reserves of 100 million tons of oil equivalent.

Yesterday, however, Gazprom and the Sakhalin Region administration signed an agreement on the development of gas distribution on the island.

The program will have several stages, said the company's deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov.

In the first stage, it will use gas from Sakhalin I, and perhaps from Sakhalin II, and in the second stage in 2013-2014, from Sakhalin III. Gazprom also intends to use gas from the projects to supply the Maritime Territory, he added.

The concern "is already in talks with Exxon Neftegas (Sakhalin I's operator) on the issue," he said. "Russian consumers should be a priority for at least some gas from the project." He did not elaborate how much gas Gazprom was going to claim. The company's spokesman also declined to comment.

Gazprom has been in talks with Shell on swapping a 25% stake in Sakhalin II for a stake in the project to develop the Neocomian reserves of the Zapolyarnoye field for about 12 months. Also, its top managers have repeatedly said they are willing to buy all the gas from Sakhalin I.

Yet members of the PSA are in no hurry to give Gazprom their gas. "We have not received a comprehensive offer from Gazprom with amounts, prices and timeframes," said an Exxon Neftegas spokesman. "The consortium wants to get the highest possible price for its gas, but it is cheaper on the domestic market," he said.

On October 19, Exxon Neftegas signed a preliminary agreement on gas supply to Chinese CNPC. If it goes through, the consortium will be willing to build a 900-kilometer pipeline from Sakhalin to China with a capacity of about 8 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

However, Denis Borisov, an analyst with Solid, said that Russia will never allow the consortium to build the pipeline, so Gazprom has a very good chance of receiving gas from Sakhalin I.

© Vedomosti, a Russian newspaper

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