28 Jul 2009 15:38

Russian govt changes gas price parameter for Q3, Q4

MOSCOW. July 28 (Interfax) - The Russian government has issued a resolution that amends the parameter for determining the maximum price for natural gas for certain categories of consumers in the third and fourth quarters.

Under the resolution, the maximum allowable price for gas under those contracts in the third quarter will be 35% greater than the minimum allowable price. The maximum allowable price in the fourth quarter will be 30% greater.

The resolution was officially published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Tuesday.

For three categories of consumers listed in the resolution, the wholesale price of gas in supply contracts is set by Gazprom between the minimum and maximum price. The minimum price is set by the government. The maximum price is the minimum price plus the percentage increase specified in the resolution. The method is applied to new gas consumers and consumers buying gas in excess of approved volumes.

Under the document approved earlier, the maximum price could exceed the minimum price by 60% in 2007, by 50% in 2008, by 40% from January 1, 2009 and by 30% from July 1, 2009, by 20% from January 1, 2010 and by 10% from July 1, 2009.

The resolution aims to eliminate a mismatch in pricing that emerged after quarterly changes in the gas price were approved for 2009, a Federal Tariffs Service official told Interfax.

It was reported earlier that in late December 2008 the government approved hikes in the wholesale price of gas equal to 5% on January 1, 7% on July 1 and 6.2% on October 1.