19 Oct 2010 13:47

Gazprom steps up export-block reform discussions

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - After two years, the management at Russian gas giant Gazprom returned to face-to-face discussions of reforming the company's export operations last Thursday.

The last time this issue was addressed by management was in December of 2008, and since then discussion has only occurred in writing between departments.

Gazprom's financial-economic department conducted an analysis of the Gazprom Germania (a subsidiary of LLC Gazprom Export) group's operations and worked up recommendations for the reformation of the entire export block, and also for moving the export-profit center to the parent company OJSC Gazprom. Departments continued to write back and forth, with sit-down meetings scheduled and put off.

Several sources at Gazprom told Interfax that the management discussed Gazprom Germania's activities last Thursday, as well as about all the middle-men involved in exporting Russian gas.

During preparations for the meeting, the financial-economic department exposed to criticism the foreign-economic activities department's work on the project, saying the proposed measures would be ineffective and insufficient. The financial officers were also dissatisfied with the fact that the export block had demanded a year's more time for the implementation of the complex of measures discussed than earlier planned.

The talk at the Thursday meeting was vigorous. Head of the company's corporate security service Sergei Khomyakov estimated that Gazprom had missed out on $5 billion in export revenues.

Management's next meeting on this topic is slated for mid-December. "The timing is strictly set. There will be no postponements," one of the sources said about management's resolve.