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 March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Sea Star Continues Puerto Rico Investments

Sea Star Line, LLC has entered an agreement to on-hire another barge to add to its current service package for shipments from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico.   The

Rand Logistics Announces Debt Refinancing

Rand Logistics, Inc. announced today that it has closed a $170.0 million revolving loan facility which refinanced approximately $102.0 million of the company's

Baltic Sea Freight Index Edges Higher

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged higher on Monday as rates rose for vessels across all segments.

Energy

Methanol Powered Ferry Launched in Baltic Sea

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has announced that it has converted the Stena Germanica to run on methanol, an industry first.   The company spent $24 million on converting the ship to methanol.

U.S. Oil Train Traffic mostly from Midwest to East Coast

U.S. oil trains delivered more than 13.5 million barrels of crude oil from the Midwest to the East Coast in January, according to government data that gives a first

Rotterdam Gate LNG Terminal Expansion Started

Dutch gas network operator Gasunie and tank storage service provider Vopak said on Monday that the expansion of their Gate liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Rotterdam has begun.

LNG

Methanol Powered Ferry Launched in Baltic Sea

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has announced that it has converted the Stena Germanica to run on methanol, an industry first.   The company spent $24 million on converting the ship to methanol.

Rotterdam Gate LNG Terminal Expansion Started

Dutch gas network operator Gasunie and tank storage service provider Vopak said on Monday that the expansion of their Gate liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Rotterdam has begun.

Becker Marine at Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo

Becker Marine Systems product presentation at the dutch Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo will put a strong focus on environmentally-friendly technology for the

Government Update

WOW at USMMA

The United States Merchant Marine Academy Hosts 7th Annual Women on the Water Conference. Last week, The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in conjunction with the U.

Syria Taps World Wheat Market as Stocks Run Down

Weeks after Syria said it had no need for wheat imports, the government plans to import 150,000 tonnes and has introduced ways to conserve grain stocks in signs

Keppel FELS Delivers 11th Jackup to Mexico

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a KFELS B Class jackup rig to Mexican national oil company,

Logistics

U.S. Oil Train Traffic mostly from Midwest to East Coast

U.S. oil trains delivered more than 13.5 million barrels of crude oil from the Midwest to the East Coast in January, according to government data that gives a first

Sea Star Continues Puerto Rico Investments

Sea Star Line, LLC has entered an agreement to on-hire another barge to add to its current service package for shipments from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico.   The

Rand Logistics Announces Debt Refinancing

Rand Logistics, Inc. announced today that it has closed a $170.0 million revolving loan facility which refinanced approximately $102.0 million of the company's

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1868 sec (5 req/sec)