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Is it a pipe?

Experts of the international forum "Fuel and Energy Complex of Russia in the 21st Century" about the turn to the East: if we do not succeed in the next five years, we will be late

Is it a pipe?

One of the central discussions of the XIII Moscow International Energy Forum "Russia's Fuel and Energy Complex in the XXI Century" was the eastern vector of the country's energy strategy. According to experts, "turning to the East" is not so easy: before supplying energy for export, you need to deal with its domestic consumption, and gas supply to China is impossible without import substitution. But do our new partners need us as much as we think? The discussion turned out to be stormy.

Gas according to plan

Member of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Arnold Tulokhonov Drew attention to the optimization of energy consumption, stressing that the growth of electricity production is not an end in itself, but a real factor in raising the standard of living of the population.

“Russia produces electricity not demanded by the market (Tulokhonov quoted the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak as saying that the growth of electricity production in Russia will amount to 28-30%, and consumption will grow by 15%. - author's note), - he said. - The people in the east (countries - author's note) it is neither hot nor cold. It is the same with oil: we are producing more and more, and life is getting worse and worse. And there is no connection here. "

According to him, the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, which is designed to solve a number of eastern problems, in fact does not solve any problems. Moreover, it goes, like an oil pipeline, through the most remote, uninhabited and empty places in Siberia and Yakutia.

Tulokhonov noted that in real life the interests of the federal center and energy producers sometimes do not coincide. In the production of electricity, there are conflict situations associated with the lowering of the level of Lake Baikal and interfering with the energy sector when laying the main gas pipelines away from the industrial centers of South Siberia, as well as ignoring the position of science.

To coordinate the development of the energy industry with the interests of various structures, Tulokhonov proposed the creation of the State Planning Committee. “Eastern policy is divided into regional policy: each region is saved by itself, but there is no Russian interest there. Today I said very clearly that we need the State Planning Committee, which turns the interests of the regions into the interests of the states, but the State Planning Commission is not in itself - it must have a scientifically grounded strategy, which was born in reality and for the future. We have neither the State Planning Committee, nor science, "Tulokhonov commented on his statement to EastRussia.

Viktor Timoshilov, Head of the Department for Coordination of Eastern Projects of OJSC Gazprom, agreed with the need for state planning in the development and placement of production and gas-using capacities in the east. “I don’t know whether it is necessary to establish the State Planning Committee, but the fact that state planning specifically in the east should be strengthened is unambiguous,” he stated. “Unfortunately, today the producer is not motivated to increase production volumes for supply to the domestic market, although this task was declared, that is, a priority in the Eastern Gas Program.”

Timoshilov stressed in his speech that "independent producers want to export." According to him, this is not accidental, since the economic environment itself is pushing for this. “In the east, there is a slightly different ratio of prospective gas supplies for export and the domestic market. If in the area of ​​the Unified Gas Supply System 3: 1 in favor of the domestic market, then in the east (countries - author's note), if you fantasize and assume that all promising export projects will be implemented both in network and liquefied natural gas, then the ratio will be the opposite - and even 1:10 in favor of the domestic market, ”Timoshilov shared.

Nevertheless, the cost of gas for the population remains unacceptable. To change the situation, according to Timoshilov, significant liberalization of tax conditions is required. He stressed that liberalization is needed “not point-to-point, as it is proposed now in priority development areas and for individual projects, but just total. There will be results - there will be both taxes and jobs. Then there will be an internal motive to expand production. So far, gas consumption in the Far East is significantly lower than planned under the Eastern Gas Program. "

At the same time, Timoshilov believes, the state has not decided on the degree of control in the gas market. “A mechanism should be developed that would create a level of comfort for us as an enterprise developing the gas transmission system, so that we can be 100% sure that at the time the enterprise is commissioned the volumes of gas that are declared, they would be confirmed that the money that were spent on the commissioning of deposits, etc. that they were not wasted, ”the expert emphasized.

“And today it is not even clear how the state will guarantee gas supply in the event of market liberalization and in the event of the departure of one or another major player. The problems described are of a systemic complex nature, "he continued, speaking of the need to create a competitive market, without which" a miracle cannot happen. "

“Power engineers will agree with me - more freedom is needed,” Timoshilov said. The topic was continued by the first Dmitry Selyutin, Deputy General Director for Investments and Development of DVEUK JSC, explaining that it is often impossible to increase the volume of energy consumption in the energy-abundant areas of the Far East, including due to regulated tariffs, when the introduction of an object entails serious tariff consequences.

“It is quite obvious that the Russian Federation with its own budget will not be able to participate in the development of the network economy in the Far East in the medium term. On the other hand, the Far East is not at all to blame for the fact that in terms of network saturation they are far behind the whole of Russia. Consequently, the tariff of the nationwide companies - FGC, RusHydro - must include an investment component focused on Far Eastern projects. That is, this is RAB-regulation, these are long tariffs, tariffs for 3-5 years, national tariffs with the inclusion of funds that these operating companies would like to send to the development of the power industry in the Far East, "Selyutin said. He also noted that the energy lag of the macroregion was formed due to the sparse population, remoteness and difficult climate of the territory.

“Therefore, it is necessary to build, and there is still a lot to build,” Selyutin concluded.

The market for change

Gas export to the East, perhaps, turned out to be a key topic of discussion. Aleksey Mastepanov, Deputy Director of the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, began his speech by saying that it is wrong to consider the events in Ukraine and the sanctions to be the reason for Russia's "turn" to its eastern neighbors: the question of diversifying the country's export markets, in particular the gas market, was raised in 1995 in the first energy strategy of Russia.

“Russia must diversify export flows of Russian energy resources to ensure its energy security. And it is from these positions, in my opinion, that it is necessary to assess the conclusion of a contract with China, and construction gas pipeline "Power of Siberia", and the creation of new plants for the liquefaction of natural gas both in the Far East and in other regions of Russia. But what has been done is only the first step, followed by further development of the gas transmission system in the east, further development of cooperation. And since gas resources in the east of Russia, as is known, have a complex component composition, it is necessary to create a number of large gas processing complexes and even chemical plants in these regions, ”he said.

According to him, gas consumption in China is growing rapidly. If in 2000 this figure was only 24 billion cubic meters, then in 2010 it was already 107 billion. Gas consumption increased 10 times over 5 years and in 2013 amounted to 167,6 billion cubic meters. At the same time, if in 2000 all the gas consumed in the country was produced in it, then in 2010 the volume of gas imports amounted to 16,5 billion cubic meters, and in 2013 - 53 billion, of which 25 billion came in liquefied form and 28 billion through pipelines.

To date, China has entered into contracts for the supply of pipeline gas with Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Russia. In addition, the Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline has been built, the resource base of which is the Chinese-Kazakh joint venture and the Zhanazhol base field. “Thus, the contracted volume of pipeline gas supplies is 125 billion cubic meters, and this top ten from Kazakhstan can be added to them. That is, a total of 135 billion cubic meters of pipeline gas. And the total volume of contracts for the supply of liquefied natural gas is about 60 million tons, that is, it is about another 83 billion cubic meters, ”the expert stated.

However, one cannot rely only on the East. Mastepanov said that many experts, including foreign ones, question the very readiness of China to import significant volumes of gas from Russia. The main argument is that China’s own shale gas production will actively develop in China, and its imports will increase, including from Central Asian countries, so it is possible that China doesn’t need Russian gas.

Gleb Ivashentsov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Deputy Director of the Russian APEC Research Center, considers it important to take into account the fact that relations between Russia and the West, primarily with the United States, have entered a fairly long period of a new Cold War when shaping Russia's strategy in Asia. “A turn towards Asia is necessary for Russia to gain sufficient confidence and reduce its own vulnerability to these aggressive attacks,” Ivashentsov said. - And in this situation, gas contracts with China are of great importance. Despite the fact that real gas supplies will begin to China in a few years, the very fact that a gas agreement has been concluded shows the West, and above all Europe, that Russia has an alternative. It can be expected that the volume of Russian gas supplies to China will be comparable to supplies to Europe in 10-12 years, this will not only bring the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership to a new level, but also strengthen the role of Russia and China in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world. generally".

According to him, Russia is stepping up its energy offensive in the Asia-Pacific region. But we must also take into account the difficulties that we face. Our oil and gas does not have limitless opportunities in the Asian market. This market has long been divided between large foreign companies - sellers and buyers of oil and gas, and none of them is going to cede their share of profits to Russia, the expert said.

In addition, Russia has only a few years to reach the Market of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which again will affect the advancement of Russia in the market of the APR countries, said Gennady Shmal, President of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia. “We do not have a very long time pause, because now many countries, including in the East, are making certain efforts to increase LNG production. And if we do not have time in the next, say, five years, then we will be late, and this niche will be occupied, then it will be much more difficult to break into the market of the Asia-Pacific region, ”the expert said.

“I mean, first of all, what NOVATEK is building today - the Yamal LNG plant, and a number of other projects. Rosneft also has proposals, Gazprom offers etc. That is, we now have projects that are still in our heads mainly for the creation of LNG capacities, for about 80 million tons per year. Of these, 10 - we have it on Sakhalin, within the framework of Sakhalin-2, 16,5 - what NOVATEK is doing, and the rest. Therefore, of course, these are the questions that need to be thought about, ”he said.

Substitution is lagging

The fuel and energy complex, largely dependent on imported supplies (primarily equipment for oil and gas exploration and production), was not affected, but largely benefited from the introduction of Western sanctions and the fall of the ruble - at least, so optimist experts believe the forum. Perhaps, it is precisely in conditions that are difficult for Russia that pressure from Western market participants will make a breakthrough not only in the reorientation to the East, but also in the technical and scientific spheres. Although it is not worthwhile to count on a quick effect.

Senator Tulokhonov expressed the opinion that in modern conditions "our traditional markets for the sale of hydrocarbons no longer need such volumes of oil and gas supplies." “Today there is a unique chance for the progress of the domestic industry. However, its vector should change significantly. In a short period of time, we will have to move from extensive methods to increasing the efficiency of the fuel and energy complex without increasing the volume of hydrocarbon production, ”the senator noted. However, according to his expectations, import substitution in the coming years "will remain only on paper."

Deputy Director of the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Mastepanov is sure that now the state "needs to create effective conditions for attracting financial resources to the development of innovative projects." “This can be done through tax exemptions and preferential loans by including the cost of innovation with an increasing coefficient, introducing preferential terms both for the concentration of resources in targeted scientific and technical areas and projects, and for the development and mastering of complex technologies. This is all the more relevant because a serious problem of the modern scientific and technical complex of Russia is its systematic underfunding, ”he noted.

President of the Union of Oil and Gas Industrialists of Russia Gennady Shmal, in a conversation with, suggested replacing the word "import substitution" with "import independence". «What is "import substitution"? This means that we follow the tail and apply what was already applied there 10 years ago. Therefore, we need to think, of course, about creating our own equipment, our own technologies, "- said Shmal, adding that" we are a leading country in the production of oil and gas, and all this was done without relying on Turkish builders, without relying on foreign ones. then things. We have created a unique West Siberian oil and gas complex, which is the greatest achievement of the entire engineering thought of our Russian, Soviet people. And they did it, relying only on their own strength. Yes, they helped us a little, and sometimes they put a spoke in the wheels, well, sometimes we bought pipes from the Germans, from Mannesmann (Mannesmann AG is a defunct German pipe company - author's note). "

“And when the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline was being built, Mr. Reagan announced an embargo on the supply of equipment to us, the supply of equipment for compressor stations, and we got out of the situation, and in response to these sanctions, this unique gas pipeline was built in 18 months at a standard 60. This was our response to the sanctions that were, "he told EastRussia.

According to Shmal, it is not necessary to be completely independent of imports: today the industry's dependence on imports is 60%, therefore "it is impractical and incorrect to set such a task, otherwise it will be too expensive", but for many things, for example, 99% of the oil and gas complex's need for pipes , we can provide for ourselves.

“There are questions that will take time. These are, first of all, issues of automation and telemechanics, pumping equipment, issues related to software (here we are a little behind). But there is always a way out: today a number of companies from countries that are neutral about sanctions, well, take Japan, Japanese companies (the same Yokogawa, Panasonic company) are ready to work with us precisely to create whole complexes related to the automation of processes ", - he thinks.

Anatoly Arabsky, deputy chief engineer for scientific and technical work and ecology of Gazprom dobycha Yamburg, also disagrees with the term “import substitution”. “” Import substitution ”is a very silly term. If you replace, then do what someone has already done for a long time, and doing again, it means to lag behind, "he expressed his point of view to EastRussia and called on" to work on import pending, that is, for export. "

“When we have what to export to them, then they will gladly sell us what they have. This is a normal move, therefore, from the point of view of innovations, it is necessary to work to be ahead of time, and not to lag behind, ”Arabsky said. According to him, "the country should be largely independent in terms of basic indicators."

“You can always buy a trifle, but you also need to have something that you can sell in return, so that you can pay not only there. Therefore, I am talking about innovations - this is what we develop ourselves, ”Arabian is convinced.

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