22 Mar 2018 10:10

Russian regulator proposes to deregulate gas market by July 1, 2019

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) - The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has drafted a government resolution to make "amendments to certain acts of the Russian government on issues concerning the development of market principles for pricing on the domestic gas market," which proposes to make the transition to market pricing by July 1, 2019.

A memo attached to the document, which was published on the federal website for draft regulations and laws, states that the draft resolution calls for setting a uniform rate for transportation of gas along trunk gas pipelines for independent gas producers and Gazprom and its affiliates, as well as the abolition of government regulation of Gazprom's wholesale gas prices. It also calls for changing the procedure for determining the coefficient used to calculate the mineral extraction tax in connection with the abolition of the price formula used to calculate the tax.

The document was drafted to implement the National Plan for Development of Competition in Russia for 2018-2020, which has been approved by presidential decree, and in line with instructions from Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich to set the stage for evening out economic conditions for the operations of gas market participants.

FAS also said that in order to create a unified price policy on the gas market it is necessary to simultaneously transition from government regulation of wholesale gas prices to government regulation of rates for services to transport gas via trunk pipelines that are uniform for all gas consumers and producers in Russia.