Germany has been and remains the largest Russian natural gas buyer. The total volume, including trading in this country, reached 34.0 billion cubic meters in 2012.
Germany has been and remains the largest purchaser of Russian natural gas. The total volume of 2008 exports to this country stood at 37.7 billion cubic meters. Russian natural gas deliveries to German are made under LLC Gazprom Export contracts signed with E.ON Ruhrgas AG, WIEH GmbH & Co KG, and WINGAS GmbH.
The total volume of natural gas exported by Russia to Germany since the start of deliveries (in 1973, including the former German Democratic Republic) up to present has reached about 899.5 billion cubic meters. The Ruhrgas Corporation was founded in 1926. It is one of the largest gas transmission companies in the world. Its operations include the purchase and transmission of natural gas along main pipelines, with its subsequent sale to gas distribution firms. The company is also involved in the comprehensive design, construction and operation of gas transmission systems.
The major German energy concern E.ON AG became Ruhrgas AG’s unitary shareholder in the early 2003.
In addition, a long-term agreement has been in force with E.ON Ruhrgas AG since October 1, 2001 on the transit of Russian natural gas through Germany to the Netherlands and Belgium. A series of other short-term contracts are also in effect.
April 1999 saw the registration under Russian federal law of Gerosgaz (CJSC), a joint venture between Gazprom and Ruhrgas AG that, among other things, trades on the Russian securities market. E.ON Ruhrgas AG controls about 6.7 percent of JSC Gazprom’s shares (about 3.5 percent of the shares directly, and the other three percent through CJSC Gerosgaz).
In August 2006, Gazprom Export and E.ON Ruhrgas AG signed four prime contracts for the period between 2020 and 2035, with the volume of annual deliveries under the prolonged contracts reaching 19.8 billion cubic meters.
Three prime long-term contracts have been concluded with WIEH and WINGAS for the delivery of 22.3 billion cubic meters per year in the plateau period, with another long-term contract signed for the delivery of 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Romania. LLC Gazprom Export has signed an agreement with WIEH, WINGAS and WIEE extending these contracts till 2031.
After JSC Gazprom created its subsidiary in Britain — the Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd. (GM&T) — it began to develop cooperation with WINGAS concerning gas sales on the British market. The first, small deliveries began in 1999. Shipments were made using the Gazprom-owned reverse flow capacities of the Interconnector gas pipeline.
In September 2003, Gazprom Export and WINGAS signed a long-term Agreement on the sale of natural gas on the British market, which is valid till 2013. Delivery volumes reached around 5 billion cubic meters in 2008.
The volume of Gazprom Export deliveries made via the WINGAS and WIEH firms to German, Belgium and Britain reached 23.4 billion cubic meters in 2008.
Joint efforts further saw the construction and commissioning of the STEGAL (stretching 323 kilometers with an annual capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas) and MIDAL (stretching 642 kilometers with an annual capacity of 13 billion cubic meters of gas) system of main gas pipelines. By creating the MIDAL–STEGAL system, Gazprom gained direct access to the German gas market alongside other large local gas transmission companies — such as Ruhrgas, RVE Gas, Gasunie Deutschland and others. The total capital investments in the MIDAL–STEGAL system and the Rehden UGSF reached some 4 billion German marks (Gazprom’s share — about 1.4 billion German marks).
The WEDAL gas pipeline (stretching 294 kilometers) was commissioned at the end of 1998. It linked the WINGAS gas transit system with the gas transit system of Belgium, and from there, with the Interconnector gas pipeline. The WEDAL gas pipeline is, first and foremost, intended for transporting British gas under contracts the WINGAS company signed with British Gas (later ceded to Electricity de France) and Conoco. This guarantees the diversification of WINGAS delivery sources. WEDAL is also used for shipping gas to the British market.
The process of Gazprom’s integration into the European gas system received a further boost with the implementation of the Yamal– Europe project, through which WINGAS receives some 4 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The Yamal–Europe gas pipeline was launched in November 1999. The main pipeline passes through Belarus and Poland, crossing Germany in the region of Frankfurt (Oder), where it links up with the YAGAL–Nord gas transport system, which connects this pipeline to the STEGAL–MIDAL–Rehden UGS gas transmission system.
Gazprom operates Germany’s Rehden USG jointly with WINGAS. At the same time, the share of Gazprom’s gas volume stands at up to 2.3 billion cubic meters.
In July 2008, a joint venture between Gazprom and Germany’s Wintershall Holding AG — a closed joint-stock company called Achimgaz — launched the pilot production of Block 1A of the Achimov deposits at the Urengoy oil, gas and condensate field, which is located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The field’s development is due to last for 43 years. Around 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 40 million tons of condensate are due to be produced over the entire development term. Its rated capacity stands at around 8.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 2.8 million tons of condensate per year.
On September 8, 2005 Gazprom and German companies BASF AG and Е.ОН Rurgaz AG signed in Berlin the Basic Agreement on Nord Stream gas pipeline construction. According to the document the partners established the joint venture named «Nord Stream AG» in which Gazprom controls 51% of the capital and Wintershall Holding (branch of BASF AG) and Е.ОН Rurgaz AG (till July, 1, 2004 Rurgaz AG; since February, 2003 is integrated into E.ON concern) - 24,5 % and 24,5 % respectively.
Within the frameworks of Gazprom Group’s business development strategy in Europe, Gazprom Export, Gazprom Marketing & Trading, and Gazprom Germania are also reviewing the prospects of implementing new electric power projects in Germany.
Following 2011, Gazprom Export’s delivery volume in Germany, Belgium and the Britain through WINGAS and WIEH was more than 20 billion cubic meters.
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