* Rosneft's CEO Sechin says company needs to export gas
* Sechin says Gazprom, Shell deny Rosneft, Exxon access to
(Adds detail, quotes)
By Denis Dyomkin
KHABAROVSK, Russia, April 25 Rosneft
ratcheted up pressure on fellow Russian energy champion Gazprom
on Friday, asking the government to intervene in a row
with the gas producer as Rosneft seeks to strengthen its control
over vast hydrocarbon resources.
Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, a powerful ally of Russian
President Vladimir Putin, has long challenged Gazprom's monopoly
rights to export natural gas via pipelines, which so far serve
only clients in Europe, where Gazprom generates over half of its
On Friday, Sechin again called on the government to allow it
to export gas via pipeline and asked for help in gaining access
to Gazprom's trunk gas pipeline, vital for the liquefied natural
gas (LNG) project Rosneft is planning with ExxonMobil.
Sechin said that since Rosneft has large gas resources of
gas in sparsely populated Eastern Siberia, it needs to sell the
"East Siberia has gas reserves in excess of 7 trillion cubic
metres... And domestic demand has been limited so far. The task
of expanding export capabilities arises in conditions like that,
of course, including for independent (non-Gazprom) producers,"
Sechin told a government meeting in the far eastern city of
Rosneft and Russia's No.2 gas producer Novatek
have secured rights to export seaborne LNG, successfully
challenging Gazprom's monopoly.
Gazprom still retains exclusive rights to export gas via
pipelines, which so far have only been plugged to clients in
Europe where the company generates half of its revenues.
Gazprom has been in talks for over a decade with China about
selling it pipeline gas, but was unable to reach a deal due to
differences over pricing. Sources said that the deal could be
clinched in May when Putin visits China.
Rosneft has said it want access to a yet-to-be-built
pipeline to China.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil plan to build an LNG plant in
Russia's Far East to produce 5 million tonnes per year of the
frozen gas starting from 2018. However, the project has been
hindered by infrastructure bottlenecks and uncertainty over gas
Last week, Putin approved expansion plans for an LNG plant,
operated by Royal Dutch Shell and majority-owned by
Gazprom, on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.
Analysts have said that would hinder implementation of
Rosneft and Exxon's LNG project.
Sechin told the meeting, presided over by Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev, that both Gazprom, a monopoly owner of trunk
pipelines, and Shell were denying his company access to a
pipeline from Sakhalin to the mainland for the LNG project.
"We believe those denials run counter to the law. We would
ask you to provide support over the access (to the pipeline),"
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; writing Vladimir Soldatkin;
editing by Nigel Stephenson)