Gazprom and Economy Ministry report reduction in disputes

The number of disputes between Gazprom and the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry on the development of the Russian gas market has reduced significantly, Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov told journalists today. He reported that a new draft concept of the gas industry's development, which took into account remarks of the President and would not increase Gazprom's risks, had been introduced to the government on March 12. Several meetings on this concept will be held before the end of this month and the final decision on the domestic gas market is expected to be made in May, Sharonov said. He also announced that the liberalization was inevitable on the market of Gazprom's shares "and this issue should be resolved before a normal gas market is established". According to data from Gazprom, the company's natural gas production volumes account for 88 percent of the overall gas production volume in Russia compared to 93 percent a year and a half ago, which testifies to an increase in the number of independent gas producers.

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