Strategic Tasks Of The Development Of The Main Gas Transportation Infrastructure And Challenging Aspects Of The Legal Regulation Of Construction Of Main Gas Pipelines

 
PIIS231243500022545-7-1
DOI10.18572/2410-4396-2020-4-116-120
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: Saint Petersburg State University of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Journal nameEnergy law forum
EditionIssue 4
Pages116-120
Abstract

The development of the main gas transportation infrastructure and a socially and economically justified increase in the gas infrastructure expansion level in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation including creation of the conditions for preferential supply of gas to land plots used for housing construction are referred to strategic gas industry development tasks. The gas infrastructure expansion level and its growth pace are currently low in a number of regions of the Russian Federation. The citizens view this situation as social injustice, especially when main export gas pipelines are located in close proximity. Solution of strategic tasks related to the gas infrastructure expansion requires an improvement of the legal regulation of social relations arising at the gas infrastructure expansion, and that is impossible without legal research. The author brings forward proposals for the development of the legal regulation in the gas infrastructure expansion including provisions on the single operator of gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion programs.

Keywordsenergy law, legal support of gas infrastructure expansion, legal regulation of construction of main gas pipelines
Received06.11.2020
Publication date05.12.2020
Number of characters13397
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1 Priorities of the power industry development in the Russian Federation according to the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035 (the “Strategy”) approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1523-р of June 9, 2020, include inter alia preferential satisfaction of the internal demand for power industry products and services.
2 The Strategy includes the greatest possible assistance in the socioeconomic development of the country in the targets of the development of the power industry of the Russian Federation, including the improvement of housing conditions for at least 5 million families every year: raising the availability of the electrical grid infrastructure, reliability and quality of power supply to consumers to the level, comparable with the best foreign analogues, gas infrastructure expansion in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
3 The Strategy views the gas industry tasks in the context of the spatial and regional development as, inter alia, the main gas transportation infrastructure development and a socially and economically justified increase in the gas infrastructure expansion level in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation including creation of conditions for preferential supply of gas to land plots used for housing construction within the framework of the implementation of national projects and national programs.
4 The Strategy is implemented by federal executive authorities, government authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, subordinate state budgetary institutions, interested profit-making, non-profit organizations in the power industry and related economic branches by adoption of legal, political, organizational, informational, industrial and other measures within the framework of their competence.
5 The development of gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion systems in the regions of the Russian Federation is one of the first priorities of Gazprom, PJSC (the “Company”).
6 Legal research focuses on relevant issues of the legal support of the gas infrastructure expansion. V.V. Romanova studying the issues of the legal regulation of the gas infrastructure expansion emphasizes the absence of any clear definition of the gas distribution property concept including whether it is referred to the gas pipeline transport, the absence of a precise definition of the legal positions of parties to gas infrastructure expansion relationships including gas distribution organizations, etc. [1]
7 The gas infrastructure expansion level in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation was 70.1% as of January 1, 2020. [2]
8 Gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion programs are implemented in 67 regions of the Russian Federation. The gas infrastructure expansion program of the regions of the Russian Federation is drafted based on proposals from regional administrations and approved by Gazprom, PJSC. Bringing gas to the ultimate consumer has been the main project aim since 2005.
9 Gazprom, PJSC, finances construction of inter-settlement gas pipelines, i.e. builds the gas infrastructure up to settlements, while the regional government is responsible for street network laying and preparation of consumers for gas intake.
10 Romanova notes in her study of the issues of the legal support of the gas infrastructure expansion that there is an imbalance between the legal position of the companies entering the Gazprom Group and that of independent gas suppliers as the existing legal regulation stipulates no obligation of any independent gas suppliers to develop any gas distribution networks. [3]
11 The following statutory acts establishing the procedure for the implementation of the Gas Infrastructure Expansion Programs in the Regions of the Russian Federation are worth noting: Federal Law No. 69-ФЗ of March 31, 1999, On Gas Supply in the Russian Federation, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 903 of September 10, 2016, On the Procedure for the Development and Implementation of Inter-Regional and Regional Gas Infrastructure Expansion Programs in the Housing and Utilities Infrastructure, Industrial and Other Organizations.
12 According to the evaluation of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation (the “Accounts Chamber”), the gas infrastructure expansion in the country is substantially behind the schedule. The gas infrastructure expansion plan of the last three years has been implemented only by 15%. [4]
13 Several reasons may be singled out:
14 No alignment in the operations of the Company and the regions. The gas infrastructure expansion plans do not coincide.
15 The absence of funds of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to build gas distribution networks.
16 Unprofitability of gas supply as the cost is often higher than the set tariff.
17 Accumulated consumers’ debt to Gazprom, PJSC, for gas consumption amounting to RUB 331 billion.
18 Since August 2020, Gazprom, PJSC, has started to sign five-year Regional Gas Supply Development and Gas Infrastructure Expansion Programs for 2021 to 2025 (the “Programs”) with the regions to align the works of construction of inter-settlement gas pipelines and gas distribution networks and preparation of consumers for gas intake. The Programs include objects where the regions have confirmed their readiness to finance the development of gas distribution networks and preparation of consumers. Mutual obligations of Gazprom, PJSC, and the regions are annually validated by Roadmaps of Alignment of Gas Infrastructure Expansion Program Performance. The name of settlements provided with gas supply, the number of houses and boiler rooms subject to gas supply and work performance terms are indicated in respect of each inter-settlement gas pipeline.

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1. Romanova V.V. Challenging Aspects of the Legal Regulation of the Gas Infrastructure Expansion / V.V. Romanova // Energy Markets: Legal Regulation Problems and Tasks : monograph / edited by V.V. Romanova. Moscow : Lawyer, 2018. P. 122–138.

2. Gas Infrastructure Expansion // Gazprom. URL: https://www.gazprom.ru/about/production/gasification/.

3. Romanova V.V. Challenging Aspects of Legal Regulation of the Gas Infrastructure Expansion / V.V. Romano- va // Energy Markets: Legal Regulation Problems and Tasks : monograph / edited by V.V. Romanova. Moscow : Lawyer, 2018. P. 122–138.

4. Kudrin A.L. Aleksey Kudrin Has Informed the Head of the State of the Main Results and Plans of the Accounts Chamber / A.L. Kudrin // Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. 2020. August 19.

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6. A Business Meeting of Vladimir Putin and Aleksey Miller Has Taken Place // Gazprom. 2020. September 16.

7. Romanova V.V. Challenging Aspects of the Legal Regulation of the Gas Infrastructure Expansion / V.V. Romanova // Energy Markets: Legal Regulation Problems and Tasks : monograph / edited by V.V. Romanova. Moscow : Lawyer, 2018. P. 122–138.

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