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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khristenko to Control Access To Oil and Gas Export Pipelines

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Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko has been put in charge of a new committee that will control oil and gas producers’ access to export pipelines.

It will also be responsible for considering applications by independent gas producers to use Gazprom’s transport system. With the appropriate permission and corresponding capacity in Gazprom pipelines, independent producers will be able to use up to 15 percent of the system’s capacity.

The committee will replace an inter-departmental committee set up by the Fuel and Energy Ministry in 1995 and the ministry’s gas committee, which was responsible for controlling independent gas producers’ access to the main gas pipelines.

Those committees are to be abolished, though the ministry will still have influence on decisions through Khristenko’s second in command, Ivan Matlashov, a deputy energy minister.

The new committee will decide the export schedule for oil and oil products, resolve disputes connected with questions of export capacity and assess reports of violations of pipeline regulations by oil companies.

It will also consider the quarterly balance sheets for oil, oil products and gas.

Officials with the rank of deputy minister from 10 ministries, including the so-called power ministries — the military and the police — have been brought in to work on the committee, which will meet a minimum of once a week.

The seniority of officials with which companies must agree on quotas will increase, however the extent to which this will make oil and gas lobbyists’ work more complicated is difficult to predict.

"A full overhaul of the committee’s personnel will disrupt the established lobbying channels. Since the committee will comprise officials whose rank will be higher than those oil companies can influence, lobbying will be reduced," said Gennady Krasovsky, oil and gas analyst at the NIKoil brokerage.