Firewood and coal instead of blue fuel. Gazprom is in no hurry to gasify Russia

Firewood and coal instead of blue fuel. Gazprom is in no hurry to gasify Russia
Analytics

27 November 2020, 15:40
Photo: www.newsweek.com
Gazprom issued a press release with a forecast for the gasification of Russian regions. The general meaning: it's too early to part with wood and coal stoves, but you have to pay.

If you read the documents of the state monopolist for a long time, then, it’s not even an hour, you can let a tight tear of emotion go. From 2016 to 2020 inclusive, Gazprom built 9.83 thousand km of gas pipelines, provided gas to 1,358 settlements, and by the coming New Year, through the efforts of the "national treasure", the average level of gasification of regions will increase to 71.4% (from 66.2% at the beginning of 2016 of the year). However, Gazprom's investments in the gasification of Russian regions, as NI already wrote, cannot be compared with investments in export gas pipelines.

Let's go back to the company's release. It says that following the results of the next five-year plan, by 2026, the country's gasification level will rise to 74.7%. However, with the proviso: "subject to strict implementation of programs". Step aside, and that's it, you won't see the coveted gas. Mysteriously, in previous years, without any special programs, the gasification level added 5.2 pp, and in the next five years, it turns out, we will have to count on an increase of 3.3 pp at best. That is, there is a serious slowdown in the pace of work. And let's also take into account that the further, the more difficult it is to work - you have to go deeper into more remote areas. If everything went on as it has been since 2014, then in 5 years 77.84% of households would have gas. But, as we already understood from the document, it won't. Everything goes to the fact that we get a maximum of 77.7%. These figures are in no way compatible with the June decree of Vladimir Putin, according to which the country's gasification level of 83% should be achieved by 2030.

But funding will be many times higher! Former Energy Minister Alexander Novak has already estimated the entire 10-year gasification program in Russia at a crazy 1.915 trillion rubles. As best they could, they came up with a thousand and one reason to give Gazprom additional money, because the “national treasure” itself is ready to allocate just over half of the required amount for affordable gas for the people...

For some, gas is the fuel they need to survive, while for others it is a source of super profits. Recently, the leadership of the Ministry of Energy changed, Nikolay Shulginov became the new minister. Coincidentally, or not, but the other day the ministry announced that it could not yet find the required trillion rubles. By another coincidence, or not, but literally two days after the bad news about financing appeared, Gazprom is publishing this forecast, which does not fit into the parameters previously set by the president.

A couple of months ago, one could believe in an excuse associated with the fact that poor and unhappy Gazprom was stranded and would not be able to pull such investments. At the end of 9 months of 2020, Gazprom, excluding subsidiaries that are mitigating the fall (Gazpromneft, for example, earned 36.19 billion rubles even during the crisis), received a net loss of 592.15 billion rubles. Such a sum can scare even hardened financiers. But the main losses fell in the first half of the year, when at first gas prices collapsed after oil, then everyone went into quarantine, not understanding what to do with the coronavirus, and Turkey completely switched to Azerbaijani gas.

But now a saving winter loomed on the horizon, everyone needed gas, the Turkish Stream was full, and by the end of October spot prices for blue fuel at the terminal in the Netherlands soared to $ 180 per 1,000 cubic meters. In the summer they dropped to $ 70. Now quotes have dipped by about 15%, but they are still holding approximately at the level of 2019. Very good! The accounting statements show this perfectly: according to the results of the first half of the year, Gazprom's revenue fell by 26% to 1.88 trillion rubles, and in the third quarter the drawdown was already only 9.5% (or 900 million rubles).

The financial situation is improving, but Alexey Miller does not want to spend money on the development of Russia, preferring something very similar to information blackmail. Maybe not in full, but he will most likely knock out the money from the Ministry of Energy - after all, Alexander Novak did not retire, but supervises the fuel and energy complex as Deputy Prime Minister. Promises must be kept. And the level of gasification? So it has already been designated, and is unlikely to increase. So firewood, coal and fuel oil are still ours for a long time.

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