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Russian Business-daily analyses perspectives of creation of gas OPEC by CIS gas exporters

The Russian-Turkmen long-term gas agreement could become a good stimulus for creation of international organization of gas exporting states, the one similar to OPEC. Such an adea was expressed by the Russian President yet in the beginning of last year during the meeting with the Turkmen leader. CIS states could become the core of such organization. Russian, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are the largest gas producers in CIS. In the near future Azerbaijan can join this quarter, thanks to huge resources of gas in its sector of the Caspian Sea. Ukraine can be included into such organization with the status of transit state. It is not excluded that in the future United Arab Emirates, Quatar, Bruney and Algeria would express willingness to join this structure. As for our main competitor in Europe - Norway - even if it does not join the organization it in any case will be forced to cooperate with it very closely, the way we cooperate with OPEC in oil sphere. Project of creation of such organization were forwarded in mid 80th, when the volume of gas demand was getting higher in industrial states.

However, linking gas prices to the oil ones preconditions competition between suppliers, demping etc. that makes the process of internationalization of international gas-export integration more complicated. While coordination of interests on two- or threelateral level anables creation of regional "headquarters" of aforementioned organization. There are some offices in CIS - Russian-Kazakh consortium dealing in transit of Kazakh gas to Europe if formed, creation of similar Russian-Ukrainian organization is under the way, agreements with Turkmeniatan are signed recently. As a result of singed Russian-Turkmen gas agreement the gas alliance of these two states would become the leader by the industrial resources of gas. Russia will receive 75% of volumes of Turkmen gas export will be received by Russia within 20 years. In fact, both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan recently have agreed with the Russian Federation about the deliveries to Russia of overall 9 billion cubic metres of gas per one year. A bloc of states of "cross suppliers", gas transporters consumers is formed on post Soviet territory, i.e. a gas OPEC is formed in CIS. Gas transporting consortium of Russia, Ukraine and possibly German, France and Italy will join this bloc: the one which is aimed at transit of gas of Russian and Central Asian states.
It worth mentioning that "Gas OPEC" in CIS is being formed on the principles close to the ones of the which are fixed in the bases of the Organization of Arab oil-exporting states: exporters and consumers are engaged in it - Syria, Tunis and Egipt.

Russian Business-daily

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By Andrey Evplanov and Alexey Chichkin

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