Gazprom stopped buying pipes

Gazprom stopped buying pipes for Nord Stream-2: a year and a half after their order, they seemed expensive to the gas monopoly.
 "Gazprom" considered the overestimated cost of pipes for the land section of the North European Gas Pipeline and canceled the contracts for their supply. Letters with the notification on this were received by the pipe companies on Wednesday, two employees of various counterparties of the gas company told Vedomosti. The reason is the change in Gazprom's pricing policy regarding the purchase of large-diameter pipes, one of the interlocutors says. The sender of letters - OOO Gazprom komplektatsiya, it acted as the customer in these pipe contracts.

The order to terminate the contracts was signed by Mikhail Sirotkin, Head of Department 121 (Corporate Cost Management) of Gazprom, (Vedomosti got acquainted with the document). The representative of Severstal declined to comment. The United Metallurgical Company (OMK), the Pipe Metallurgical Company (TMK) and the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (CHTPZ) confirmed receipt of the letter. The representative of Gazprom to Vedomosti did not respond.

The procurement, which is in the possession, was announced on April 19, 2016: it was planned to supply 501,600 tons of large-diameter pipes for the project "Development of a unified gas supply system in the North-West region, the Gryazovets-Slavyanskaya compressor station." This meant the expansion of the gas pipeline for gas supplies to the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, which Gazprom plans to put into operation in 2019. The length of the ground part of the project is 876 km, according to the contracts, almost 670 km of pipes were to be delivered. Some of them have already been delivered, Gazprom and pipe companies do not report.

The total value of contracts amounted to 56.8 billion rubles. Most of the order was received by OMK Anatoly Sedykh: 30% of the purchase by 17.2 billion rubles. "Tubular innovation project" (TIT) Ivan Shabalov - 29% or 16.5 billion rubles. Then ChTPZ - 11.6 billion rubles (20.5%), TMK - 5.7 billion rubles (10.7%) and Severstal - 5.6 billion rubles (9.9%).

What is the reason?

Gazprom wants to cut prices for large diameter pipes, the reason and catalyst for this could be the emergence of a new player in the pipe market, says a person close to one of the pipe companies. Zagorsky Pipe Plant, which opened in 2015 and began delivering pipes to Gazprom in July this year, offered a 13-15% discount to current prices. And he promised to supply pipes to Gazprom by 20-25% cheaper. The plant has a contract with the state monopoly on 112 000 tons, it can produce 500 000 tons per year. In April 2017, Gazprom's presidency, Alexei Miller, even met with Denis Safin, the general director and co-owner of the Zagorsk Pipe Plant. And on November 16, for lack of corpus delicti in relation to Safin, the case of fraud was terminated - he returned 133 million rubles. subsidies for the construction of a pipe plant, which, according to the investigation, was illegally obtained, wrote.

In March 2017 Denis Safin told the magazine "Metal supply and sales" that co-owner of ZTZ in late 2016 was co-founder and partner of the law firm "Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners" Nikolai Egorov.

Expensive pipes or cheaper?

"Prices have gone down since 2016, and the pipe workers are trying to pretend that the current situation and the latest agreements of this supply do not concern. It is necessary to educate, "- commented on what is happening interlocutor Vedomosti in Gazprom. "The expectation that pipe prices should not change or even decline, when steel and oil prices go up, is contrary to global trends and fundamentally unreasonable," BCS analyst Kirill Chuiko said.

It looks like 2015, when they decided to review the 2012 agreement on the formula for the price of large-diameter pipes, signed by Gazprom and the pipe manufacturers, taking into account the recommendations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Igor Malyshev, Director of the Pipe Industry Development Fund.

Until 2013, Gazprom ordered pipes in bulk from traders, but the anti-monopoly service intervened and ordered pipes to be ordered directly from the manufacturers, and then held auctions instead of competitions: in order to obtain more favorable prices.

After the devaluation of the ruble in 2014, tubers and Gazprom began to have problems - steel, coal and pipes in rubles have risen in price: their prices are tied to dollar prices on international exchanges. In early 2015, the parties agreed to revise the prices every quarter, and calculate it by the formula, which included prices for coking coal, iron ore, gas and oil, as well as the dollar rate. The agreement survived several price jumps on coal and iron ore and a drop in oil prices. In October 2014, a ton of pipes with a diameter of 1420 mm with a wall thickness of 15.7 mm with plugs cost only 64,000 rubles. (with VAT), and in 2017, a ton of the same pipes rose in price to 102,614 rubles. It follows from the purchase documentation of Gazprom.