08/06/1998 21:57:44 World Bank details Gazprom reorganization plans
WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - A document underpinning a $1.5
billion World Bank loan to Russia envisages changes at natural gas
monopoly RAO Gazprom, including moves to allow independent
producers access to Russian pipelines.
The document, distributed at a World Bank news conference,
said the changes aimed to make the natural gas industry more
efficient and more accountable.
Gazprom would reorganize its regional transmission operations
and operate transmission, supply and production enterprises as
separate cost units. New tax regimes would be introduced for the
The bank said the overreaching goal of the proposed changes
was "to promote efficiency in the natural gas industry, achieve
greater transparency and accountability in the operations of
Gazprom, and facilitate pipeline access for independent gas
producers, including those who are now flaring gas."
Bank officials said future payments from the loan would
depend on progress in restructuring Gazprom and on other
changes. Russia received $300 million from the loan on Thursday
and a $500 million payment is due tentatively in December.
The document, which the World Bank said was agreed in the
middle of last month, also provides for better access for
foreign or independent producers to Russian gas markets.
Other measures would improve the efficiency of the oil
sector, including an audit of pipeline firm Transneft.