Russia is planning to provide independent natural gas producers access to gas export pipelines, Russian First Deputy Minister of Energy Alexey Teksler said Friday, according to the country's news agency Tass.
'Russian energy strategy until 2035 includes giving independent gas producers access to export of pipeline gas,' Teksler was quoted saying by Tass.
'In terms of access of independent producers to export sales, first we expect to liberalize and develop the LNG production, and at the second stage we will provide independent exporters access on a competitive basis to a single channel of pipeline gas export,' he added.
Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Novak said it is possible to grant access to independent gas producers to the Power of Siberia pipeline, which plans to carry 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas every year to China from 2019 onwards.
Novak added that the energy ministry also wants independent companies to have an opportunity to sell gas to state-owned gas company Gazprom on a competitive price, which will be close to the price of gas exports.
'Following a letter from Rosneft, President [Putin] gave an order allowing it to use the Power of Siberia pipeline for gas exports. We informed the government about our position on that matter. The government is now discussing the issue,' Novak was quoted saying by Tass.
According to the news agency, the Russian energy ministry announced earlier that independent gas producers, including state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft, may receive access to gas exports via the Power of Siberia pipeline from 2020 to 2025.
Novak stated later that the possible increase of Russian gas supplies to China, which is being discussed with the Chinese partners, might be reached by using additional volumes that come from natural gas produced at oil and condensate oil fields by independent gas producers, according to Tass.
Besides Power of Siberia, which is also known as the eastern route, there is a second project known as Power of Siberia-2, or western route, Altay route, that plans to carry 30 bcm gas per annum to China. However, this second project was postponed indefinitely in July.
By Ovunc Kutlu