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

Finance

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Shipbuilding Regulations: Cents and Sensibility

Addressing the Jones Act is just one aspect of an increasingly complicated boatbuilding environment. Stovepiped, poorly conceived regulations is another. The sting of the recession is fading,

Ship Broker Clarkson Looks to Acquire Platou

Top ship broker Clarkson is seeking to acquire Norwegian brokerage and investment bank RS Platou for 281.2 million pounds ($441 million) in a deal that would create

Energy

US House to Hold Hearing on Oil Export Ban

A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.

Energy’s Promising Future Threatened

Unrealistic Fears and Overstated Risks obscure the benefits of new seismic data. The United States stands poised on the edge of a bright energy future. After decades

Pile Testing for Wikinger Wind Farm Launched

In October 2014 the first phase of the pile testing campaign for the Wikinger offshore wind farm project was launched after the site’s geotechnical investigation on the Baltic Sea had been completed.

LNG

Getting Real on LNG Fuel

Plentiful supply, low prices and strict regulations on air pollution are fuelling a swift move towards using LNG as fuel for ship propulsion in the USA and Canada.

Interferry Welcomes IMO Decision on LNG Fuel Tank Placement

Interferry has welcomed a decision at last week’s IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting (MSC94) setting out rules for the location of fuel tanks on LNG-powered ships,

HHI to Build FSRU for Höegh LNG

A new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) will be built by the Korean shipbuilding Company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). This FSRU will be the fifth

Government Update

US House to Hold Hearing on Oil Export Ban

A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Shipbuilding Regulations: Cents and Sensibility

Addressing the Jones Act is just one aspect of an increasingly complicated boatbuilding environment. Stovepiped, poorly conceived regulations is another. The sting of the recession is fading,

Logistics

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Vacant Pier to Help Ease Long Beach Congestion

Pier S temporary depot to relocate empty containers for next five months    The Port of Long Beach expects a “Temporary Empty Container Depot” planned for a vacant

Russian Liftings for Western Options at 12-Year Low

By Gleb Gorodyankin MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Exports of Russian crude oil to Western markets are set to fall by almost a third in December and reach a 12-year

 
 
Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.1116 sec (9 req/sec)