The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to join other international and Russian financial institutions in investing in a project to make the Russian gas industry more reliable and effective. The investment program, tentatively estimated at over $3 billion, is designed for the period before the year 2000, an EBRD source reported. For a feasibility study, the project will rely on studies of the Russian gas supply system made over the last 20 years. (12)
Russia accounts for approximately 40 percent of the world’s discovered gas fields and the gas sector for 51 percent of the country’s primary energy supply. Over the last two decades Russia has boosted annual gas output to over 600 billion cubic meters, of which 240 billion cubic meters go for export. But Gazprom, the country’s monopoly and world’s largest producer of natural gas, badly needs reform. Certain practices-such as subsidized prices, non-payments and untaxed windfall profits on exports-need to be eliminated. Reform priorities established by the EBRD and GAZPROM for short and long-term investment in the industry reportedly will require $500 million annually for six years.
Army Commanders Discuss Defense Union, Joint Military Programs.