State natural gas supplier DEPA and Russian power giant Gazprom are expected to negotiate a new price for natural gas by the end of December. If there is no agreement, the two sides will refer to international arbitration.
According to a document that PASOK MP Odysseas Konstantinopoulos read in parliament, the negotiations for the price of natural gas entail a confidentiality clause, which means that the differences in the price of natural gas with other European countries cannot be confirmed.
DEPA has announced that a number of factors, such as gross consumption, distance from production center, presence of competition etc, result in the price of natural gas varying amongst customer countries. Gazpromexport has been the chief supplier for DEPA since 1988, with the deal providing a price review every three years, with the last one occurring in April 2011.
DEPA has launched procedures for an emergency review as provided in the deal, based on the comments of Gazpromexport officers who claimed that other European countries pay far less for natural gas. DEPA’s goal is to affect a retroactive review, which would apply from the date the negotiations were initiated.
Meanwhile European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia announced that he will launch an investigation into the matter, in order to determine whether the Russian energy giant violated European competition legislation. Mr. Almunia stated that the European Commission suspects that Gazprom has an unfair pricing policy, particularly in Baltic countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.