By December 11, 2003, Gazprom had approved half of the total 210 applications submitted by independent gas suppliers to gain access to the Companyís Gas Transportation System (GTS). 46 applications were rejected, while the rest are under consideration. Itís worth mentioning that Gazprom received majority of the applications after its official reminder (on November, 24, 2003) to several independent gas producers to timely submit respective applications.
It should also be mentioned that gas consumers, due to anomalously warm weather in the fourth quarter of 2003, didnít fully take off gas volumes delivered by independent gas suppliers at market prices, and gas inventory in the GTS increased. As a result, Gazprom reduced its gas production.
The accumulation of gas delivered by independent gas producers into Gazpromís pipeline system was the real obstacle to independent gas suppliersí search for customers which could afford market-priced gas, and the submission of respective gas supply applications by those suppliers.
Analyzing the applications received, Gazpromís relevant departments noted that the majority of gas supply offers were obtained from several suppliers simultaneously, and gas volumes stated in their offers considerably exceeded the limits fixed in the authorized licenses. Thatís why Gazprom had difficulties in approving eligible suppliers.
Nevertheless, independent gas suppliers are expected to be granted licenses to pump in 110-120 bcm of natural gas.
The independent gas producers have gained access to Gazpromís GTS since 1998. The number and annual gas volume of eligible independent gas producers that gained access to Gazpromís GTS are presented below:
1998 - 6 independent gas suppliers (gas transmission volume totaled 28.2 bcm)
1999 Ė 10 independent gas suppliers (83.7 bcm)
2000 Ė 20 independent gas suppliers (106.2 bcm)
2001 Ė 24 independent gas suppliers (92.4 bcm)
2002 Ė 33 independent gas suppliers (103.6 bcm inclusive 44 bcm delivered from Central Asia and Kazakhstan)
2003 Ė 35 independent gas suppliers (110.4 bcm inclusive 48.8 bcm from Central Asia and Kazakhstan).
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