EU wants Uniform price for Russian gas for all member states

Joseph Keefe
Friday, May 02, 2014

EU's Oettinger calls for uniform pricing. Wants better gas, electricity links with Ukraine, Georgia.

European Union member states should reject Moscow's "divide and rule" tactics on pricing its natural gas exports and forge closer gas and power ties with Ukraine and Georgia, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Friday.

His call for a uniform Russian gas price for EU members reflects tougher talk in Europe on energy following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its amassing of troops near their shared border.

"We want a uniform gas price in the European common market," Oettinger said at the joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Tusk has also promoted the idea of an EU energy union and joint purchases of Russian gas ahead of talks with Russia and Ukraine on the security of Russian supplies.

"The game of 'divide et impera' (divide and rule), or a game of this type proposed by Moscow, cannot be and will not be accepted by EU member states," Oettinger said, referring to the varying prices Russia charges across Europe.

Russian gas exporter Gazprom has renegotiated contracts with several clients in the recent years, including a price cut for Ukraine under former pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovich followed by a sharp price hike following his ouster.

Currently, EU member states buy Russian gas under bilateral contracts with Moscow and pay different prices. Common purchases would improve EU's negotiating power and likely lower prices.

Utilities in countries more dependent on Russian supplies, mostly in central Europe, tend to pay more than states in western European where Gazprom is less dominant.

"We have very big differences in terms of gas prices. The higher the share of Russian gas in purchases and the bigger the monopoly Russia has in supplies, the higher the prices are," Oettinger said.

Gazprom said that Oettinger's proposal raised contractual questions.

"We would like to know if the proposal is to unify the price for all suppliers of gas to Europe, not only Russia," said spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov.

Kiev must also first pay off its debt for gas delivered from November to March before any revisions can be negotiated, Gazprom officials said, a figure the company has said tops $2 billion.

"So far we are seeing no progress on this," said Kupriyanov.

Price disputes between Moscow and Kiev prompted Gazprom to switch off supplies in 2006 and again in 2009, causing winter heating and cooking gas shortages in Ukraine and several states which receive gas via the country.

The EU has since made some progress in diversifying its energy mix yet its reliance on Russian oil, gas and coal has continued to rise, with Europe paying Moscow $250 billion in annual energy bills.

Russian gas still accounts for around a third of the EU's imported volumes and a new pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream, was commissioned in 2011.

GRID LINKS


Oettinger said Europe should have pan-European grids for natural gas and electricity, including more power links between countries and further diversify its energy imports.

"The infrastructure with regard to gas and energy transit should have a pan-European character and should also include Ukraine, Georgia and Western Balkans," Oettinger said. "We want to prove our solidarity with Ukraine."

Ukraine fully supports the idea of introducing a unified price for natural gas in the EU, Energy Minister Yuri Prodan told reporters in Warsaw ahead of a meeting with his Russian counterpart and Oettinger.


By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Jakub Iglewski

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

For Europe's LNG Ports, Russia Gas Fears and US Exporters Buoy Demand

Gas buyers nervous of Russia cutting supply are helping solve Europe's problem of too many underused liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, as they seek space at France's Dunkirk plant.

Statoil: COSL Pioneer Temporarily Suspended

Due to overcapacity in their rig portfolio, Statoil will lay up the COSL Pioneer rig in the fourth quarter of 2014. The rig is currently carrying out an assignment

Buckeye Pipeline Quietly Makes Key Acquisition

Houston-based logistic firm Buckeye Partners has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse.

Energy

For Europe's LNG Ports, Russia Gas Fears and US Exporters Buoy Demand

Gas buyers nervous of Russia cutting supply are helping solve Europe's problem of too many underused liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, as they seek space at France's Dunkirk plant.

Statoil: COSL Pioneer Temporarily Suspended

Due to overcapacity in their rig portfolio, Statoil will lay up the COSL Pioneer rig in the fourth quarter of 2014. The rig is currently carrying out an assignment

Buckeye Pipeline Quietly Makes Key Acquisition

Houston-based logistic firm Buckeye Partners has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse.

LNG

For Europe's LNG Ports, Russia Gas Fears and US Exporters Buoy Demand

Gas buyers nervous of Russia cutting supply are helping solve Europe's problem of too many underused liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, as they seek space at France's Dunkirk plant.

Ferus Smit Building LNG Powered Cement Carrier

The first unique LNG powered ship that Ferus Smit has on order for Erik Thun A.B. will be built and equipped as a dedicated cement carrier. The ship will be delivered to the joint venture JT cement,

China Orders More MAN Dual-Fuel Units

51/60DF engines to power LNGCs MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced a further order for its MAN 51/60DF engine. After a longer period of evaluation, an international consortium,

Government Update

Maersk Sees US Approval of Shipping Alliance as Formality

U.S. regulatory approval of a proposed shipping alliance involving AP Moeller Maersk should be a formality, the Danish company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Buckeye Pipeline Quietly Makes Key Acquisition

Houston-based logistic firm Buckeye Partners has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse.

Ship Safety: IMO Committee Agree Draft IGF Code

IMO informs that the draft International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), along with proposed amendments to make the Code mandatory under SOLAS,

Logistics

Maersk Sees US Approval of Shipping Alliance as Formality

U.S. regulatory approval of a proposed shipping alliance involving AP Moeller Maersk should be a formality, the Danish company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Buckeye Pipeline Quietly Makes Key Acquisition

Houston-based logistic firm Buckeye Partners has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse.

CEVA Opens European Center of Logistics Excellence

CEVA Logistics, a leading global supply chain management company, today announced the opening of its first Center of Logistics Excellence in Europe. Situated in Ashby de la Zouch,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1286 sec (8 req/sec)