Rus News Journal

Cheap gas is dangerous to Russia

Interview to the president of the Russian gas society Valery Jazevym

Today the meeting of the president of Russia Vladimir Putin with representatives toplivno - a power complex of Russia on which the question of rise in prices for gas will be discussed is planned. Growth of cost of blue fuel lobbies the Russian Open Society « UES of Russia » for which expensive gas means possibility to buy its superlimit volumes in the free market for maintenance with fuel of the power stations. How the rise in prices for natural gas in Russia the next years will be reflected in economy growth, daily the chairman of committee of the State Duma on power, transport and communication, the president of the Russian gas society VALERY JAZEV has commented.

— In this connection the question on rise in prices for gas has risen so sharply?

— Unfortunately, last years in toplivno - power balance of Russia the dangerous warp was outlined. In 2005 the gas share has exceeded 52 % whereas coal consumption has decreased to 12 %. Even more disturbing position develops in structure of fuel balance of power stations of the Russian Open Society « UES of Russia » where on a share of natural gas it is necessary more than 70 %, including in the European part of Russia on gas it is developed more than 80 % of the electric power. Such situation poses real threat for maintenance of power supply of domestic consumers and power safety of the country as a whole and demands a diversification of power balance in favour of alternative fuel resources. Meanwhile natural gas remains a unique kind of fuel in the country the prices on which are regulated by the state. Despite long disputes on what should be the prices for the Russian gas taking into account the cost price of its manufacture, transport, teplotvornoj abilities, technological and the ecological properties, many experts and experts agree that adjustable tariffs FST do not reflect real cost of gas.

— the warp in the prices for gas and other kinds of fuel is how much great?

— and consumer properties of fuel, a parity of the prices gas/ coal/ black oil is In countries of Western Europe where expenses are considered at level 2/ 1/ 2,8. In Russia it is a parity makes 0,8/ 1/ 1,7. The developed price policy has led to interest of consumers in the maximum use of gas and to actual refusal from gazosberezhenija. Cut prices of gas deform the prices on elektro - and thermal energy, transport tariffs and cost of production of all branches. According to the International power agency, the Russian economy surpasses all other countries of the world in quantity of the used gas on manufacture of a unit of production. On this indicator we almost in 6 times it is more prodigal in comparison with the USA, in 8 times in comparison with Germany and we concede even to Ukraine. Besides objective preconditions (a severe climate, the big distances and accordingly the big expenses of power resources for transport), high gazoemkost national economy it is connected with use both in industrial production, and in consumption of gas of out-of-date power prodigal technologies. So, the EFFICIENCY gas TES with steam turbines in Russia makes 33 % while in many countries of the world are already actively used parogazovye installations with the EFFICIENCY which are coming nearer to 60 %. The gas expense in metallurgy and ammonia manufacture in Russia exceeds similar foreign indicators in 1,6 — 2,2 times that directly are connected with absence of economic stimulus for introduction of power effective technologies, first of all with the low prices for gas.

— how much strongly it is possible to lower gazoemkost domestic economy at rise in prices for gas?

— By expert estimations, Russia in a condition to reduce energy consumption counting on a unit of production in ones and a half - two times in comparison with present volumes. Calculations of experts of Institute of power researches of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INEI the Russian Academy of Sciences) concerning influence on the Russian economy of rise in prices on gas show that among various variants of restraint of demand for natural gas and stimulation by that gazosberezhenija a variant of restraint by means of market signals — the prices — is one of the most effective. According to these calculations the increase in the prices at gas starts to make effective impact on gazosberezhenie owing to an interfuel competition only in a certain interval of the prices for the gas which bottom border at developed in home market of the country a price level on various energy carriers makes about 80 dollars for 1 thousand in cubic m of gas. Since this level the further increase of the price for 1 % should lead to decrease in consumption of natural gas approximately on 0,2 %. Thus, the beginning of intensive transfer of national economy in a mode gazosberezhenija demands increase of the internal prices for gas to 80 dollars for 1 thousand in cubic m.

— whether It is possible to reach this border next year as the head of the Russian Open Society « offers, in particular; UES of Russia » Anatoly Chubays?

— In mentioned calculations INEI the Russian Academies of Sciences are resulted estimations of influence of various scenarios of rise in prices for gas, including spasmodic, on various macroeconomic indicators of development of the country. In particular, it is shown that spasmodic rise in prices for gas involves variety of negative consequences: annual rates of increase of gross national product can decrease in 2010 to 4,5 % with the subsequent exit on level of 6 % to 2012 — 2013. Inflation is accelerated: at the prices of an interfuel competition for gas the consumer`s basket rises in price for 10 next years on 66 % whereas under scenario MERT which is not providing jump of the prices, it rises in price for the same period of time for 56,5 %. Rates of increase of incomes of the population Besides, decrease: if in scenario MERT they increase for 10 years in 2,16 times, at the prices of an interfuel competition — in 1,98 times. In comparison with scenario MERT in case of the prices of an interfuel competition by 2015 profitability of the gas industry and electric power industry increases, profitability of mechanical engineering and ferrous metallurgy slightly decreases, profitability of chemistry and petrochemistry, the industry of building materials falls to dangerous limits.

— How it is possible to soften transition costs to a new price level?

— In certain degree they can be softened, if additional incomes of rise in prices for gas (or their certain part) are consolidated in the budget of the country for payment of address grants to the population, target financing of programs of power savings, including working out new resursosberegajushchih technologies, creation of systems of the commercial account of gas, rendering assistance to the industries most mentioned by rise in prices for gas.

— How much as a result the gas share in a power balance will decrease?

— After occurrence in an interval of the prices of an interfuel competition begins possible to begin decrease in a share of gas in toplivno - power balance of the country to defined by Power strategy till 2020 of an optimum level 45 — 46 % that will demand additional increase in the price on 50 — 60 % during the subsequent three - four years. Undoubtedly, economic costs of offered transition described above to the prices of an interfuel competition are serious enough. However continuation of the present scenario of development of the economy accompanied by annual growth of consumption of gas on 2 %, can lead to that the gas share in toplivno - power balance of the country will come nearer to extremely dangerous level, having reached 56 % in 2010 and more than 60 % in 2020.