Greece tells Gazprom to lower price of gas or face ar­bi­tra­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

Greece has given Rus­sian en­ergy gi­ant Gazprom a 10-day ul­ti­ma­tum to de­cide whether it will lower the price of nat­u­ral gas pro­vided to the Pub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (DEPA) to that charged in other Euro­pean coun­tries or face ar­bi­tra­tion.

The chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of DEPA, Haris Sahi­nis, told Gazprom Ex­port that un­less the Rus­sian com­pany can of­fer a one year retroac­tive rate closer to the Euro­pean av­er­age of $380 per 1,000 cu­bic me­ters, the Greek gov­ern­ment will not be able to agree.

The dis­tance be­tween the two sides is not that far as the Rus­sians are re­port­edly open to a six months retroac­tive rate of $390 per 1,000 cu­bic me­ters.

The Rus­sian side is ex­pected to make its top-level de­ci­sion within the next 10 days. The ex­ist­ing indi­ca­tions point to an in­cli­na­tion to bring­ing the rate down to what Greece is ask­ing for, but the one year’s retroac­tiv­ity ap­pears to be a stick­ing point.

The word in the mar­ket is that ar­bi­tra­tion ap­pears in­evitable. This would be the pre­ferred so­lu­tion of the coun­try’s ma­jor nat­u­ral gas con­sumers – elec­tric­ity producers and en­ergy-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries – as they pay up to 40 per­cent more

CEO Mathios Ri­gas (left) and En­ergy Min­is­ter Yian­nis Ma­ni­atis sign the con­tract be­tween the Greek state, En­ergean and BP Oil In­ter­na­tional, con­cern­ing oil pro­duc­tion at Pri­nos. for the fuel than their ri­vals else­where in Europe.

BP ex­clu­siv­ity

Mean­while, Bri­tish Petroleum yes­ter­day signed an agree­ment with the Greek state and Greek firm En­ergean Oil & Gas for the multi­na­tional to be the ex­clu­sive buyer of the oil out­put from the Pri­nos re­serves in the north­ern Aegean for the next six years.

The de­vel­op­ment has been in­ter­preted as BP’s re­turn to the Greek mar­ket in view of ex­pected up­com­ing de­vel­op­ments in the hy­dro­car­bon sec­tor. BP left Greece in 2009, sell­ing its com­mer­cial net- work in the fuel mar­ket to Hel­lenic Petroleum.

The way to the sign­ing of the agree­ment yes­ter­day in Athens was paved by the En­ergy Min­istry’s amend­ment of the con­tract be­tween En­ergean and the Greek state pro­vid­ing for the sup­ply of the oil out­put to Hel­lenic Petroleum.

The to­tal value of the deal is es­ti­mated at 500 mil­lion eu­ros, with the head of En­ergean stat­ing that it is lay­ing the ground­work for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the firm’s in­vest­ment pro­gram amount­ing to 150 mil­lion eu­ros and pro­vid­ing for three drillings at Pri­nos within 2014.

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