Gazprom cherishes control. It is Russia's natural gas monopoly, the world's largest producer of gas and has the biggest pipeline network. It is also the top supplier of gas to the European Union. With the flick of a switch, Gazprom could turn out the lights in more than a dozen European countries, which depend on Russia for anywhere from 40 per cent 100 per cent of their imported gas (Europe produces only a small amount of the gas it consumes)....MORE
From the Wall Street Journal:
Gazprom Official Says EU Plans
For Gas Market Could Raise Prices
European Union plans to force liberalization of the continent's natural gas market could lead to a sharp jump in prices, a top executive at Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom, Europe's top import supplier, said Tuesday.
Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom, told a small group of foreign reporters that Russian and EU officials will conduct expert-level talks later this month to help work out differences over the EU's reform plans, which include a proposal to mandate "unbundling" -- separation of transport from distribution and production.
But Mr. Medvedev backed off earlier hints from Russian officials that the EU plan might lead Gazprom to suspend or redirect major new gas projects. He said the gas giant is going ahead with its planned investments in new fields, though the EU proposal could affect its plans to build new pipeline and other infrastructure in Europe....MORE