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Gazprom to maintain gas export monopoly -- president's aide
The gas export monopoly of Russia's gas giant Gazprom will remain intact, presidential aide Andrei Belousov said in a news conference on Wednesday.
"We did not discuss spinning off the pipeline. There were no such orders. Gazprom's monopoly on gas exports remains unshakable. Anyway, I am aware of no ideas to deprive (Gazprom) of the monopoly," Belousov said.
However, several options are being considered now.
"There is an option of a consortium of independent gas producers participating in the construction of the gas transportation system. There is an option of their participation in expanding the capacities of the projected gas transportation system," he said.
"These are strategic issues, but they are not connected with depriving Gazprom of its monopoly."
Belousov also said that the government is considering injecting capital in Gazprom. "The order is being carried out now. We are working on it; which sources to use is a different issue. We are considering different options."
In June, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that there is no need in boosting Gazprom's capital after it signed a $400 billion 30-year contract to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China.
The supplies are to be done via a yet-to-be-built pipeline Sila Sibiri and President Vladimir Putin suggested increasing Gazprom's capital to help it build the pipeline.
But sources said that Gazprom does not need the money because China will pay $25 billion in advance for gas, which is enough to finance the construction.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Jul14]
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