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Russia’s Rosneft asks Putin to open access for gas exports

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft ROSN.MM asked President Vladimir Putin to allow it to export 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year via an agent agreement with pipeline gas exporting monopoly Gazprom GAZP.MM, Kommersant daily said on Friday.

The newspaper cited a letter by Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin to Putin, dated Aug. 13. It said the state budget will get an additional 37 billion roubles ($500 million) a year thanks to an increased gas production tax on the overseas supplies.

Rosneft has yet to respond to a Reuters request for comments.

The oil company and its shareholder BP BP.L have long planned to ship Russian natural gas abroad. Gas prices in Europe are currently at multi-year highs amid tight supplies and the economic recovery from the pandemic.

The Kremlin-controlled Gazprom has the monopoly for Russian natural gas exports via pipelines.

Sechin said in the letter, according to the newspaper, that the additional gas supplies by Rosneft will facilitate the removal of the European Union’s restrictions on undersea gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 as well as the land Opal pipeline, which connects with Nord Stream 1.

The proposal was put forward following an Aug. 5 fire at Gazprom’s gas facility in northern Russia, which led to a decline in Russian gas exports via the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Supplies have been restored since then.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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