RUSSIA PRICES: Gas Prices to Rise Nearly 20 per 100, in 2009

The Federal Tariffs Service has cleared an almost 20 percent rise in domestic gas prices next year in another step to bring the currently state-capped prices up to market levels in a few years, the agency said Thursday.

Wholesale gas prices for industrial consumers will rise by 19.6 percent in 2009, said Denis Volkov, the head of the agency's oil and gas department. The tariffs for independent gas producers to pump the fuel along the pipeline system owned by Gazprom will increase by 19.5 percent, he added.

Prices will rise by 13 percent from Jan. 1, while tariffs rise by 12.5 percent. They will fully increase from July 1, Volkov said. Gas prices currently stand at 1,422 rubles ($52.84) per 1,000 cubic meters, while Gazprom, which supplies a quarter of Europe's gas, has said its export price for Europe will hit $500 in the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: The Moscow Times

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