Gazprom: the end of the monopoly?

By whose script the company will be divided
Origin source
The loudest event in the Russian gas industry in recent years was due not to "Gazprom" and "Rosneft". That company Igor Sechin has put forward good, even superradical development plan for the country's gas sector, which envisages liberalization of the market, loss of "Gazprom" monopoly on gas exports and ultimately the separation of "Gazprom" for three companies - mining, gas transportation and management of underground gas storage.

More than ten years ago, when the government has sat liberals similar plans of reforming the gas sector we have tried to make the ministry. However, to "Gazprom" reformers even close not admitted: the country's leadership gradually realize that the power base are large state-owned corporations, and "Gazprom" - is our national treasure.

Years later, it became clear that the monopoly "Gazprom" not only prevents independent gas producers, but also to other state corporations. And to destroy a competitor, Igor Sechin was ready even to remember about Lieberalnye recipes reforming of natural monopolies.

However, today the government is not willing to infringe upon "Gazprom" literally Sechin's plan, although decided to start reforming the gas procurement from independent producers. But the pressure on "Gazprom" will continue - and by "Rosneft", and from the other "enemies." Especially that "Gazprom" can not, as before, to hide behind his role as the "universal breadwinner." In 2015, "Gazprom" will produce a minimal amount of fuel in its history, the Economic Development Ministry predicts. If the forecast comes true, the market configuration change. Problems in Turkey and China, low demand for gas, strengthening the position of independent players - all this in the long term may deprive "Gazprom" monopoly status. "Co" understood as a reduction in production will affect the corporation and assigned the rank of Russian energy superpower.

All in minus

still 4 months to the end of the year, and already it is clear that the Russian oil and gas sector will finish it with a negativeThe speaker. all fall down. The industry is under pressure of many factors. Changing the structure of demand, declining energy prices, deteriorating macroeconomic situation. Obviously, Energy - a key segment of the Russian economy. When it goes into minus figures, the whole system begins to crumble after him.

In 2015, production of "Gazprom" will fall to its lowest level in the entire history of the corporation - 414 billion cubic meters. m. This forecast is contained in the monitoring of the Ministry of economic development in the I half. The ministry believes that the monopoly will be able to pump out from the depths of 7% less gas than in 2014 (previous year - almost 444 billion cubic meters.). The enterprise plans to produce this year, 450 billion cubic meters. m.

In general, the Russian production of "blue fuel" will fall to 626 billion cubic meters. m (minus 2.2%, in 2014 failed to produce 640 billion cubic meters.). The share of the group "Gazprom" will have 66.1% of the Russian production. Independent companies pump out 212 billion cubic meters of gas, predicts the Ministry of Economic Development. At the same time from January to July production has dropped to 356.4 billion cubic meters. m (minus 5.3% to the corresponding peri-ode 2014) at the expense of "Gazprom" production by 11.5%.

Down move not only hydrocarbons production figures. Deteriorating sales forecasts have already produced gas. Abroad in 2015 sent 164.6 billion cubic meters. m, which is 5.6% less than the previous year (according to the Federal Customs Service and the Federal State Statistics Service, in 2014 managed to sell 174.3 billion cubic meters. m). If the forecast Minister Alexei Ulyukayev come true, the 2015 th will be the third year in a row, when the supply from Russia decreased.

In the meantime (for the first 6 months) Moscow managed to sell 88.5 billion cubic meters. m "blue fuel" (minus 13% compared to the same time span last year). As a result of lower demand in the EU - and it is caused by a decrease in consumption and the active use of gas in underground storage facilities - Russian deliveries to CIS countries fell by 6.2% to 66.8 billion cubic meters. m.

"In the gas sector there is a steady downward trend in gas demand in the domestic and foreign markets, which determines the reduction of gas production. On the EU market, there is a trend towards diversification of gas imports, as well as replacement of gas other fuels, including inglam and renewable energy "- sums up the ministry.

And the gift is not necessary

Another bad news for companies involved in energy production (and very good for consumers), - a decrease in hydrocarbon prices. Thus, according to Rosstat, per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the I half of this year gave $ 245.4. The indicator fell by 27% compared to the same period last year ($ 334.5). During this same time, Brent crude lost 40% of the cost. "Gazprom" has to follow the market and reduce the cost of fuel. In particular, the gas rebate received Armenia ($ 165 per 1,000 cu. M.) And Moldova ($ 210). Tense negotiations underway DISKONT for Turkey, and Ukraine periodically speaks about the unfair prices.

All these factors lead to a decrease in investments in the sector. According to "Gazprom" data mining investments in "blue fuel" in January - decreased by 60.3% April. In addition, reduced investments in the development of new deposits and the expansion of existing ones. It is expected that the volume of financial investments in gas production in Russia by the end of the year does notrevysit 234.3 billion rubles.

Head of Policy Research in the energy sector of the analytical center of the Russian government Alexander Kurdin recalls that the production of "Gazprom" uneven rates declined since 2011 (when it was about 505 billion cubic meters. M) to 2014 minutes (432 billion cubic meters. M) . This year, a new negative factor - the risk of decline in domestic demand due to the downturn in the economy, he says. In addition, in foreign markets there is supply reduction. In the I half of 2015 Russian gas exports fell to 89 billion cubic meters. m with 99 billion in the first 6 months of 2014. "This is largely due to the reduction in supplies to Ukraine", - says Alexander Kurdin.

"One of the biggest buyers of gas, Ukraine has not yet entered into a new contract with Russia, preferring a more expensive reversible gas from Slovakia (by $ 275 compared to $ 247 offered by" Gazprom ")," - commented "To" situation leading analyst of investment company "Pragmatics" Roman Tkachuk. He adds that the whole Europe has to diversify to putenergy.

"Gazprom" will produce as much gas as it can sell, "- says the general director of East European Gas Analysis Mikhail Korchemkin. He noted that sales depend on the weather and the price: the colder the winter, the higher the demand for fuel and the low cost of gas is further stimulating consumption. "If the winter in Russia and Europe will be cold, the gas consumption will be 20-30 billion cubic meters. m above the forecast of the Ministry ", - said Mikhail Korchemkin.

These are the common features of the Russian gas sector in the near future. In these difficult conditions, a monopoly is not as much room for maneuver. In fact, it has only two paths. Alternatively, to increase their efficiency to mitigate the fall in production and demand (to reduce costs, improve production technology, actively engaged in liquefied fuels) or to pray to foreign consumers. "The EU has spent enormous resources to" green "energy. This led to a decrease in demand for Russian gas, "- said an analyst at IFC Markets Dmitry Lukashov. To solve the problems of "Gazprom" should be sparedDepending on the geographic smiling. "An alternative would be the development of LNG production and transportation technologies", - he said.

The second option - the most attractive and easy. At the same time he is the most risky. The rate of success of ambitious projects of foreign reserves "Gazprom" a prisoner of external circumstances. The corporation appear vulnerabilities, and it can be easily manipulated.

Foreigners will help us?

The clearest example of such manipulation - Turkish behavior. "Gazprom" in the truest sense of pulling the strings. Monopoly expected that 4 line will pass through the territory of Turkey. One is intended for the internal needs of the country. The rest should ensure the "blue fuel" to Europe. So the corporation hoped to kill two birds at once - and make friends with Ankara, and get rid of Kyiv as of transit gas to the EU. But not yet fused. Turkey is important to get the hydrocarbons for themselves, and at the lowest possible price. Moscow Interests excite her enough.

July 28 this year, Energy Minister Alexander Newlyak said that Moscow is ready to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the first line "Turkish stream" as soon as possible - within one to two weeks. In Ankara, the zeal of the Russian official did not appreciate. Two days later, July 30, it became known that Turkey suspends talks on gas pipeline. She wants a discount on gas at 10.25% (itself the cost of fuel for Ankara "Gazprom" is not disclosed). The final decision on the price cut yet.

The company is already aware that something is going wrong. If you look at the last of "Gazprom" report (for the II quarter 2015, published on 14 of August), it will be seen how the company has changed the attitude to the "Turkish Stream".

The document states that the capacity of the gas pipeline "when completed will be 63 billion cubic meters. m per year. " Earlier (in the report for the I quarter) formulation was harsher: "The performance of the new gas pipeline system, which will consist of a 4 threads, will be 63 billion cubic meters. m per year. " The difference is obvious: in a monopoly there were doubts in the full implementation of their plans. No wonder the last option removedthe number of threads. If Turkey will continue to persist, the case could end pipeline of local scale - it will function only serves the interests of Turkish consumers. In this case, "Turkish Stream" can turn into "Turkish stream". As a result - the task of diversification of supply in the EU will fail.

Read on - about the supply parameters. The first line of 15.75 billion cubic meters capacity - Ankara needs. "The remaining 47 billion cubic meters. meters of gas will be supplied to the border of Turkey and Greece ", - the report says. Previously, it was this: "The remaining 47 billion cubic meters. meters of gas will be supplied to a new gas hub on the border of Turkey and Greece. " Recall, the border was the basis of the new hub of "Gazprom" export policy. Miller has repeatedly threatened to Europeans that they will be left without fuel, if the tube is not stretched to the distribution center. Its construction would create preconditions for the construction of a full-fledged alternative to the "South Stream". Apparently, the idea of ​​a hub postponed until better times.

Of course, the new user in the form of tourtion will help to "Gazprom" to increase production. Now the republic - one of the company's most important partners. According to "Gazprom export", in 2014 the Turks had 18.64% of the total exports to Europe (or 27.33 billion cubic meters. M). If we manage to complete the first line of the stream delivery to the republic will jump by 58% and will exceed 40 billion cubic meters per year. According to various estimates, Ankara receives from Moscow's gas costs about $ 350-370. For example, the parties agree on a discount. Then the cost will drop to $ 315-330. As a result, for the year "Gazprom" will receive $ 12.6-13.3 billion in revenue from fuel sales to Turkey (all of 2014, the company earned about 3 trillion rubles., Or $ 79 billion at the average annual rate at 37.97 rubles ./$).

But this is not enough. "Gazprom" is necessary not only to develop relations with Turkey. The company needs a reliable transit corridor in Eastern and Southern Europe. Ankara is not yet ready to provide it. This means that the supply of about 60 billion cubic meters. m (in 2014 Russia pumped through Ukraine to 58 billion cubic meters) could be thwarted. After all, Moscow still intends to close the valve Kiev No reliable transit country in 2019 - is not exported. notexport - there is no production.

Dragon hid

News from the East also can not please the Miller. Supplies of gas through the "Altai" pipeline (or "Power of Siberia - 2") - its source should be laid in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, he will go to China on the border with the Republic of Altai - have come under question. Anyone who watched the broadcast of the Victory Day parade May 9, 2015, saw that among the guests of honor was the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. On May 8, during his visit to Moscow, "Gazprom" and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an agreement on the terms of gas pumping through the "Altai". The volume of exports - 30 billion cubic meters. m per year for 30 years. Cost of construction of the pipe - $ 55 billion, or nearly 4 trillion rubles. at the exchange rate at the end of August. At the very least, such a figure named Energy Minister Alexander Novak on 27 August.

And August 21 Director of the Department of Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Ministry of Commerce of China Ji Lin said that the negotiation process with Russia is complicated due to the sharp fluctuations of oil prices (the price of gas contracts in China and Russia is tied to the "black gold"). The signing of an eyetionless contract in question, as China is not able to guess how it will behave the prices of hydrocarbons. In case of sharp rise in price agreement with Russia can be very disadvantageous to Beijing. And vice versa.

Another factor that could disrupt the global spread of the Russian Federation to the east - the economic difficulties in China. China's GDP for the II quarter 2015 increased by 7%. From January to March, it also increased by 7%. At the same time in the II quarter of 2014 the economy has added 7.5%. China is not growing as quickly as expected. As a consequence - reducing the level of consumption. Slows the economy needs less gas and oil. It also casts doubt on the possibility of increasing the "Gazprom" production in the short term.

This situation may lead to a shift in the timing of some projects and the adjustment of their size. However, the corporation will continue to move in the direction of diversification, albeit more slowly, says Alexander Kurdin.

As we can see, at the "Gazprom" currently in the hard grip of their foreign partners. They could dictate their conditionsI. In order to continue to sell gas have to agree with them.

independence Shadow

Reducing production can lead to the fact that "Gazprom" will lose the status of the export monopoly. As reported by Ministry of Economic Development, in 2015 the other players will produce 212 billion cubic meters, or 33.9% of total production. Russian companies have had a chance to oust "Gazprom".

The first contender for the throne of the gas - it is "Rosneft". In the bowels of the company Igor Sechin had a plan of reforming the industry. They believe that "Gazprom" should not be an exclusive position on the question of deliveries of "blue fuel".

According to the program of radical reforms, already in 2016 the first batch of gas from independent companies will go to Europe. In the same year, you need to free the market of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and export it to allow all interested persons. By 2022 pricing in Russia will be liberalized, while energy companies will be able to start a full-fledged export of raw materials to the West. In 2025 "Gazprom" will share, taking his fuel operator functionss lines and underground gas storage. Details of the plan have been made public in a very appropriate time - just on the background of the difficulties in accumulating monopoly. Previously, information appeared that "Rosneft" is going to consolidate all gas assets into a powerful structure (see. "By" No. 847 (19) of 25.05.2015, "The Empire of the rising gas"). In the light of the reform plan for the creation of such an enterprise is looking increasingly likely.

"The share of" Gazprom "in the domestic market continued to decline - its close" Rosneft "and" Novatek ", offering more flexible terms for consumers", - says Roman Tkachuk. Indeed, the fall production of "Gazprom" to historic lows can raise his head one more competitor Corporation, one of the largest players in the energy market in Russia - "Novatek" Leonid Michelson.

At the end of 2014, the company produced over 62 billion cubic meters. meters of gas. It took 2 nd place in Russia for the production of "blue fuel", he owns almost 10 percent market share. In 2015, the company plans to increase production by 6%. For lanehowling half "Novatek" pumped 33.04 billion cubic meters. m (+ 7.8% compared to the same period of 2014). At the same time gross liquids production increased just 52.8%, to 4.19 million tonnes.

The gas "Novatek" package - a potentially strong position in the LNG market. "Yamal LNG" project (60% - a "Novatek", the company plans to sell a stake of 9.9% Chinese investors; another 20% - from Total and CNPC) is based on the South Tambeyskoye field. It is the largest hydrocarbon company asset (reserves are estimated at 490 billion cubic meters. M). Michelson The company plans to produce 27 billion cubic meters here. m per year, and receive 16.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas. Estimated date of start of the project - 2017 "Yamal LNG" - one of the few enterprises caught in the "white list" of the government. He is allowed to export LNG. So in this respect, the export of "Gazprom" monopoly will be broken after the "Novatek" will send the first tanker with liquid gas in overseas ports.

It is not necessary to dismiss another argument. If the Russian Federation will get several suppliers of the "blue fuel", the EU will be left to us a nicknamecal claims. Third Energy Standards are met, if the pipelines on the territory of the Old World, and allow third-party companies themselves, these lines will take away from the power of "Gazprom". This can be beneficial both from an economic and political point of view. Russia finally able to safely sell their goods to Europe without antitrust proceedings - European bureaucrats calm down and maybe forget about the energy union (it is designed to reduce the dependence of the continent from the major vendors, read - from Moscow). So the Kremlin may decide on the distribution of "Gazprom" powers. The hegemony of the corporations shaken. Reduction of production against the background of the external economic problems - the trigger for this process.

Lessons for superpowers

"Gazprom" problems - problems of Russia. With a strong dependence on the sale of hydrocarbons falling indices hit directly on its economic development. There are some not very pleasant consequences caused by the reduction of gas production.

First, he will lose money, "HaInd. " "Reducing the volume of production will affect the activity of the company in two ways. On the one hand, "Gazprom" to save on oil exploration and production expenditures. On the other - reduces the drop in production profits of an enterprise ", - says the managing partner of consulting company Alexander Bazykin Heads.

The problem is not so much in the fall of production, but in the cost of gas, indicating Head of Industrial Policy Department of rating agency "Expert RA» (RAEX) Fedor Zherdev. Oil prices, which are linked to the gas contracts is reduced. With shrinking demand and reduced export earnings. "Last year the average price of supply in the CIS countries was at $ 345 per 1,000 cubic meters. m, in the present, is expected in the "Gazprom", the figure will be in the best case for $ 100 less. The domestic market or supply in the near abroad to cover this difference is unlikely to be able to ", - said Fedor Zherdev in a conversation with" Co ".

The second consequence of the decline in production - suffering budget. Ministry of Economic Development estimates that in the first half revenues of the treasury by 45% nokryvat oil and gas sector. Sale of hydrocarbons has brought the country about 3 trillion rubles. Of course, the damage done by the fall of production and export of the "blue fuel" is not as strong as the collapse of oil prices. Nevertheless, the budget will miss the money.

"In 2014, the mineral extraction tax and export duty on gas provided a total of slightly more than 10% of oil and gas revenues of the federal budget. Taking into account the devaluation of the ruble, the price of hydrocarbons affect his balance a limited extent. If in this regard and there is a threat of increasing the budget deficit, in a much greater extent this is due to the oil sector, but not with the gas industry ", - said Alexander Kurdin.

The collapse of the ruble has a purse of Russians are accustomed to the imported goods and the rest abroad, but it helps to "national heritage" be nice reports. "In the I quarter of 2015 due to the devaluation of the Russian currency IFRS net profit of" Gazprom "has increased by 71% in rubles, and revenue - by 6%," - said Dmitry Lukashov of IFC Markets.

A few years ago, Russia's status as an "energy sverhderzhavy "seemed unshakable, and forecasts were the most daring. Alexei Miller in 2008, said that the "black gold" will rise in price to $ 250 per barrel. Counting head super-profits, he dreamed about how gas prices will soar to $ 1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. m. In just a few months after that of oil collapsed from $ 140 to $ 70. Were extracted from it any lessons? Apparently, no.