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May 6, 2022
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It becomes clear what Gazprom did wrong with gas

It becomes clear what Gazprom did wrong with gas

Photo: Alexey Nikolsky / TASS

The more I look at the current internal situation in the country, in connection with the sanctions, the more I understand how incompetently we treated what we have.

Can’t we do the right thing? We can, of course. Don’t we have people capable of arranging everything according to the mind? Of course there is. But this is in particular. And in general, we come to the conclusion that, even having an impressive intellectual potential, good, hard-working specialists, a vast territory with rich reserves, we are fighting off the onslaught of foreign states.

In this case, we will talk about the development of the gas industry in Russia. As they say, “our everything”, on which we have been trying to play giveaway with Western “partners” for a long time, and even more so now.

Leaving aside the western part of the gas industry, let’s turn our attention to the Far East – now the Russian government is banking on it. Since this is the region that is geographically closest to our strategic partner – China.

And against the backdrop of depressing news in the western direction, Gazprom is making rosy statements, reporting that the volume of deliveries through the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in the first four months of 2022 exceeds the same period last year by almost 60%.

Imagine, 60 percent! And all because gas exports to China are growing through the Power of Siberia gas pipeline under a bilateral long-term contract between Gazprom and CNPC.

Probably, the West should be very frightened by this figure, understand that Gazprom will not be blown away and, in which case, it will redirect its flows from west to east and sell everything unsold to Europe to China.

So one might think. But there are no fools living in the West and they know very well that the Russian gas giant has paid little attention to the development of the industry in the Far East in recent decades, building more and more gas pipelines in the western part.

Now Gazprom is forced to brag about its achievements in the Power of Siberia. But how was this pipeline built? By what fate, so to speak, was it erected at all?

And the answer is very simple – the territories themselves, namely Yakutia in the mid-2000s under the leadership of the president Vyacheslav Shtyrov insisted on the development, approval and implementation of the so-called Eastern Gas Program. This program included the phased development of first the Sakhalin gas production center, then the Yakutsk center, then the Irkutsk center, and finally the Evenki center. These centers were supposed to be connected by a single main gas pipeline with the connection of the Irkutsk center, Yakutsk, and then Sakhalin in Khabarovsk. And from the Irkutsk center to the west, it was planned to lay a gas pipeline that would connect the facilities of the Eastern Gas Program with the Unified Gas Supply System. Harmoniously connected with this was the construction of an LNG plant in Vladivostok. At the same time, a large-scale gasification of the regions of the Far East was to take place.

In fact, the Power of Siberia is just a part of this large Eastern gas program, namely the development of the Chayandinskoye gas condensate field in Yakutia.

Do you think that almost twenty years ago, Gazprom wanted to engage in this program, and even more so to gasify the settlements of the Far East? Not really.

With difficulty, the Yakut authorities got through the issue, with difficulty they agreed that the Yakut gas production center went into development immediately after the Sakhalin center, and not Irkutsk, and now we have the Power of Siberia.

And what do we have now from the implementation of the Eastern Gas Program by Gazprom?

Yes, Sakhalin and Yakutsk gas production centers have started working. But they are still not connected to each other. Accordingly, there is no systemic gasification of the Far East. Now an interconnector is being pulled from the Kovykta field in the Irkutsk region to Yakutia, to the Chayandinskoye gas condensate field. Well, in general, that’s all.

Since 2015, no one has talked much about the Eastern Gas Program, just silent. Neither you need a full-scale gasification of the Far Eastern regions, nor you need inclusion in the Unified Gas Transportation System of the country. And even the “Power of Siberia” did not reach Khabarovsk, so that the entire Far East would have enough gas, but – beyond the Amur Region and went straight to China.

That is, if Gazprom did fulfill the Eastern Gas Program, which Yakutia insisted on, then now all gas from the western part of the country through the Unified Gas Transportation System would calmly go to the Far East, and further to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. And the gasification of the Far East, a macro-region where one of the lowest indicators of gasification of settlements in the country, would be completed.

But no, this did not happen, and now we are returning to our unlearned lessons.

Just two weeks ago, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the situation in the oil and gas sector. He said that it is necessary, firstly, to expand the gasification program for the Russian regions, and, secondly, to provide for the construction of new oil and gas pipelines from the fields of Western and Eastern Siberia and include the Power of Siberia and Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipelines. » into the Unified Gas Supply System.

Do you understand? That is, the president instructs to do what should have been done a long time ago! And after all, all this was already on paper, all this was approved and chewed a long time ago. The only thing left to do was to implement it. But we weren’t enough for that. More precisely, Gazprom. Thank God, at least the “Power of Siberia” was put into operation, and now there is something to brag to “foreign partners.”

But now, due to the fact that the Eastern Gas Program was not fully implemented, we are unable to transfer gas from the western direction to the eastern one. Because there is no connection between these gas pipelines. No, that’s it.

And now, in an emergency situation, in the absence of foreign equipment, which Russia has been praying for for the last thirty years, Gazprom will be forced to unite these disparate gas pipelines. You can not stutter about Vladivostok at all – there is no equipment.

So I want to ask – what did you think about before? What they were doing? Why is there no main thing – a common gas transmission network in Russia and complete gasification of settlements? Was there no money? Yes, it’s funny! Who, who, but Gazprom always had money.

They lived for momentary profit, and now, when the fried rooster has already pecked, they ran.

It is bitter that the situation is not only in the gas industry. It is exactly the same in the energy sector, and in the aviation industry – but everywhere.

I don’t know what the sanctions will lead to, but the best result would be that our leaders, world-class top managers (as they call themselves) would finally turn on their brains and start thinking about what would be better for Russia and not for their companies. Then, perhaps, our country and people will begin to be respected. And not to wipe their feet on us, realizing that the Russians do not think about their country, but think about how to quickly save up natural resources and move to them, abroad for permanent residence.

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