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Russia's economics minister said Tuesday the domestic price of natural gas will more than double by 2011 to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters
Russia's economics minister said Tuesday the domestic price of natural gas will more than double by 2011 to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters. "We plan to do this by around 2011. This is a timeframe in which all Russian companies will be able to adequately prepare for a domestic price of above $100," German Gref told reporters, adding that the rise would be gradual. Domestic industrial consumers currently buy natural gas wholesale at just $40 per 1,000 cu m. Russian gas is now sold abroad at up to $260 per 1,000 cu m, so the domestic price should ideally be set at $125, or about one half the export price, the minister said. Russian state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom incurs billions of rubles in losses each year from cheap gas sold on the domestic market. As well as raising domestic prices, currently around five times below the average export rate to the European Union, Gapzrom is also pushing for higher prices for Russia's ex-Soviet neighbors, including Belarus, which until recently enjoyed concessions comparable to the domestic price, and Georgia. Gazprom has announced a nearly four-fold price increase to $180-$200 per 1,000 cu m for supplies to Belarus as of 2007, from $50 charged now, and said it will more than double the price for Georgia, to $230 from the current $110. The price of gas sold to the EU - which relies on Russia for around 30% of its energy needs, including 44% of its gas - could be brought up to $293 per 1,000 cu m in 2007, 15% higher than this year's $257
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