“We proposed two variants to the government and after considering all the opinions a decision will be elaborated… First variant: Gazprom remains the only owner of the gas transit system, it buys the gas from the independent [gas producers] an exports it. The second variant includes the extension of the Power of Siberia with participation [of companies] other than Gazprom. This means the construction of a second string or even a separate pipeline that may go through a new route. We are talking about creating a consortium on the construction of the pipeline,” Novak said.
The Minister stressed that regardless of the scenario chosen Gazprom will remain the sole exporter and will sell independently produced gas under an agent agreement. Novak said that three weeks ago Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich ordered the Energy Ministry to study opportunities to increase Russian gas exports to China.
Construction of the primary pipeline began September 1. The 3,000-kilometer (1,860-mile) Power of Siberia pipeline is intended for the delivery of Russian gas to China.
In May, Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a contract with China’s CNPC to export 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for a 30-year period via the Power of Siberia pipeline. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2018.