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    RUSSIA INSISTS ON CASPIAN PIPELINE CONSORTIUM INCLUSION IN THE REGISTER OF NATURAL MONOPOLIES

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    MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's federal energy commission (FEC) insists on the inclusion of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in the register of natural (infrastructure) monopolies, deputy head of the Fuel and Energy Ministry Sergei Fedorov said.

    According to him, the issue of including the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in the register of natural monopolies and, increasing, in this connection, its oil transit rates, has been discussed for two years now. However, this decision can be taken only with the consent of all the consortium's shareholders.

    "The agreement on the establishment of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium stipulated exemptions from the federal legislation, i.e. the consortium's right to set rates," he said. However, "the rates that are established are underrated and, therefore, the consortium as a legal entity operates at a loss."

    As Fedorov stressed, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium is a monopoly and Russia is its largest shareholder.

    "If one of the parties to the consortium believes that its rights are infringed upon, then it is time to carry out an economic analysis. This is a normal world practice."

    The structure of the stakes of the founding member states in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium is as follows: Russia, 24%; Kazakhstan, 19%; the Sultanate of Oman, 7%. The consortium's private founding members include Chevron Caspian Pipeline Consortium Company (15%), LUCARCO B.V. (12.5%), Rosneft-Shell Caspian Ventures Limited (7.5%), Mobile Caspian Pipeline Company (7.5%), Agip International (2%) and others.

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