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I have painful gas: The request could not be satisfied


Is It Gas Pain or Something More Serious?

Although not usually a sign of serious illness, excessive gas can be a warning sign of an underlying medical issue. Excessive gas could be a sign of an abnormality with your digestive system, like gastroparesis, for example. Also, what you think are gas pains could actually be any one of a number of health problems.

Here are just a few possible causes of abdominal pain and bloating:

In most of these cases, you will notice symptoms other than just gas and bloating. For instance, in the case of appendicitis, there will most likely be changes to your abdomen, including stiffness and extreme tenderness. Gas pain doesn’t make your belly sensitive to the touch, so if you notice extreme pain, always seek medical advice.

If your pain, bloating, and excessive gas problems are persistent, take steps to find out the cause.

Diagnosing the Problem

A physical exam and diagnostic tests may be performed to help rule out other more serious medical conditions that could be mimicking excessive gas pain. If lactose intolerance is suspected, your doctor may schedule you for a breath test. Depending on the potential causes, other tests may include blood work, imaging — such as X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) — and endoscopy.

“Excessive gas that causes bloating and discomfort can be a challenging condition to treat,” says Shatnawei. “It often requires a change in lifestyle, which isn’t always easy. You may have to adjust your diet. For example, carbohydrates can make bloating worse. Sometimes avoiding carbonated beverages, chewing gum, legumes (like beans and lentils) or cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower) may help.”

Sensitivity to gluten can also cause bloating. “But sensitivity to gluten does not necessarily imply celiac disease,” cautions Shatnawei. It’s best to seek medical advice before eliminating gluten from your diet.

Constipation can also contribute to bloating. Exercise can help.

If an imbalance in the gut bacteria in the small bowel is suspected, probiotics may help, Shatnawei says.

If you have persistent excessive gas, abdominal pain, or bloating, and can’t get relief, it’s a good idea to head to your doctor. If the problem is intestinal gas, he can recommend ways to provide relief. And if it’s a more serious problem, you can catch it early and get started on treatment.

Excessive Gas & Bloating | Causes, Symptoms & Relief

Some medications may help to relieve gas, but are believed to not work very well.


Simethicone dissolves small gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines.

Most people start with small doses, but may need up to 125mg with meals to see a difference.

Some antacids contain simethicone and may help with bloating. Antacids without simethicone won’t help with bloating.

Common names:

  • Gas-X™
  • Mylicon™
  • Maalox Anti-Gas™
  • Mylanta Gas™
  • Maalox Plus™

Activated Charcoal

There are two ways to use activated charcoal:

  1. Take an activated charcoal tablet
  2. Wear underwear lined with activated charcoal

Activated charcoal tablets or capsules may help:

  • Reduce the amount of gas
  • Decrease the odor from gas

Charcoal-lined undergarments are available and may help reduce odor, but won’t reduce the amount of gas. They are available online.

Digestive enzymes

The body has enzymes that help the body break down food during digestion. You can also take enzymes to help your body digest certain foods.

For people with low pancreatic enzymes, these supplements can help with digestion and reduce gas and bloating. However, for a person with a normal pancreas, taking these enzymes will probably not help with gas or bloating.

Common names:

  • Beano™
  • Vitacost Gas Enzyme™
  • Bean-zyme™
  • Vegan-zyme™


Alpha-galactosidase helps break down complex sugars in foods like beans or certain vegetables that can cause gas and bloating.

Taking alpha-galactosidase when eating these foods may help reduce gas and bloating.


Probiotics are bacteria that can improve health if people take enough. We don’t know exactly how probiotics might help with gas and bloating. But, some research shows certain probiotics may help by:

  • Creating the right amounts of healthy bacteria in the digestive system. Probiotics are often called “friendly bacteria”.
  • Decreasing the amount of bacteria the colon has to break down, so less gas is made
  • Helping the colon contract more and move gas through faster, which means less bloating

Common names:

  • Align™
  • Activia™
  • VSL #3™

Gas and gas pains | Beacon Health System


Gas in your digestive system is part of the normal process of digestion. Getting rid of excess gas, either by burping or passing gas (flatus), also is normal. Gas pain may occur if gas is trapped or not moving well through your digestive system.

An increase in gas or gas pain may result from eating foods that are more likely to produce gas. Often, relatively simple changes in eating habits can lessen bothersome gas.

Certain digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease, may cause — in addition to other signs and symptoms — an increase in gas or gas pain.


Signs or symptoms of gas or gas pains include:

  • Burping
  • Passing gas
  • Pain, cramps or a knotted feeling in your abdomen
  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (bloating)
  • An observable increase in the size of your abdomen (distention)

Burping is normal, particularly during or right after a meal. Most people pass gas up to 20 times a day. Therefore, while having gas may be inconvenient or embarrassing, burping and passing gas are rarely by themselves a sign of a medical problem.

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor if your gas or gas pains are so persistent or severe that they interfere with your ability to function well in daily life. Gas or gas pains accompanied by other signs or symptoms may indicate more-serious conditions. See your doctor if you experience any of these additional signs or symptoms:

  • Bloody stools
  • Change in consistency of stools
  • Change in frequency of bowel movements
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Persistent or recurrent nausea or vomiting

Seek immediate care if you experience:

  • Prolonged abdominal pain
  • Chest pain


Gas in your stomach is primarily caused by swallowing air when you eat or drink. Most stomach gas is released when you burp.

Gas forms in your large intestine (colon) when bacteria ferment carbohydrates — fiber, some starches and some sugars — that aren’t digested in your small intestine. Bacteria also consume some of that gas, but the remaining gas is released when you pass gas from your anus.

Common foods that cause gas

Certain high-fiber foods may cause gas, including:

  • Beans and peas (legumes)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

While high-fiber foods increase gas production, fiber is essential for keeping your digestive tract in good working order and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Other dietary factors

Other dietary factors that can contribute to increased gas in the digestive system include the following:

  • Carbonated beverages, such as soda and beer, increase stomach gas.
  • Eating habits, such as eating too quickly, drinking through a straw, chewing gum, sucking on candies or talking while chewing results in swallowing more air.
  • Fiber supplements containing psyllium, such as Metamucil, may increase colon gas.
  • Sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, found in some sugar-free foods and beverages may cause excess colon gas.

Medical conditions

Medical conditions that may increase intestinal gas, bloating or gas pain include the following:

  • Chronic intestinal disease. Excess gas is often a symptom of chronic intestinal conditions, such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Small bowel bacterial overgrowth. An increase or change in the bacteria in the small intestine can cause excess gas, diarrhea and weight loss.
  • Food intolerances. Gas or bloating may occur if your digestive system can’t break down and absorb certain foods, such as the sugar in dairy products (lactose) or proteins such as gluten in wheat and other grains.
  • Constipation. Constipation may make it difficult to pass gas.


Your doctor will likely determine what’s causing your gas and gas pains based on:

  • Your medical history
  • A review of your dietary habits
  • A physical exam

During the physical exam, your doctor may touch your abdomen to determine if there is any tenderness and if anything feels abnormal. Listening to the sound of your abdomen with a stethoscope can help your doctor determine how well your digestive tract is working.

Depending on your exam and presence of other signs and symptoms — such as weight loss, blood in your stool or diarrhea — your doctor may order additional diagnostic tests.


If your gas pains are caused by another health problem, treating the underlying condition may offer relief. Otherwise, bothersome gas is generally treated with dietary measures, lifestyle modifications or over-the-counter medications. Although the solution isn’t the same for everyone, with a little trial and error, most people are able to find some relief.


Dietary changes may help reduce the amount of gas your body produces or help gas move more quickly through your system. Keeping a diary of your diet and gas symptoms will help your doctor and you determine the best options for changes in your diet. You may need to eliminate some items or eat smaller portions of others.

Reducing or eliminating the following dietary factors may improve gas symptoms:

  • High-fiber foods. High-fiber foods that can cause gas include beans, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, pears, apples, peaches, prunes, whole wheat and bran. You can experiment with which foods affect you most. You may avoid high-fiber foods for a couple of weeks and gradually add them back. Talk to your doctor to ensure you maintain a healthy intake of dietary fiber.
  • Dairy. Reducing dairy products from your diet can lessen symptoms. You also may try dairy products that are lactose-free or take milk products supplemented with lactase to help with digestion.
  • Sugar substitutes. Eliminate or reduce sugar substitutes, or try a different substitute.
  • Fried or fatty foods. Dietary fat delays the clearance of gas from the intestines. Cutting back on fried or fatty foods may reduce symptoms.
  • Carbonated beverages. Avoid or reduce your intake of carbonated beverages.
  • Fiber supplements. If you use a fiber supplement, talk to your doctor about the amount and type of supplement that is best for you.
  • Water. To help prevent constipation, drink water with your meals, throughout the day and with fiber supplements.

Over-the-counter remedies

The following products may reduce gas symptoms for some people:

  • Alpha-galactosidase (Beano, BeanAssist, others) helps break down carbohydrates in beans and other vegetables. You take the supplement just before eating a meal.
  • Lactase supplements (Lactaid, Digest Dairy Plus, others) help you digest the sugar in dairy products (lactose). These reduce gas symptoms if you’re lactose intolerant. Talk to your doctor before using lactase supplements if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas Minis, others) helps break up the bubbles in gas and may help gas pass through your digestive tract. There is little clinical evidence of its effectiveness in relieving gas symptoms.
  • Activated charcoal (Actidose-Aqua, CharcoCaps, others) taken before and after a meal may reduce symptoms, but research has not shown a clear benefit. Also, it may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb medications. Charcoal may stain the inside of your mouth and your clothing.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Making lifestyle changes may help reduce or relieve excess gas and gas pain.

  • Try smaller portions. Many of the foods that can cause gas are part of a healthy diet. Try eating smaller portions of problem foods to see if your body can handle a smaller portion without creating excess gas.
  • Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don’t gulp. If you have a hard time slowing down, put down your fork between each bite.
  • Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies and drinking through a straw. These activities can cause you to swallow more air.
  • Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink. See your dentist if they aren’t fitting correctly.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking can increase the amount of air you swallow. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise reduces the risk of constipation, which can prevent the release of gas from your colon.

If the odor from passing gas concerns you, limiting foods high in sulfur-containing compounds — such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, beer and foods high in protein — may reduce distinctive odors. Pads, underwear and cushions containing charcoal also may help absorb unpleasant odors from passing gas.

Preparing for an appointment

Before you see your doctor be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How long have you noticed an increase in gas or gas pains?
  • Does the pain go away or get better when you belch or pass gas?
  • How many times do you pass gas each day?
  • Do certain foods seem to trigger your symptoms?
  • Have you added any new foods or drinks to your diet recently?
  • What medications or dietary supplements do you take?
  • Do you have nausea or vomiting with your gas pains?
  • Have you lost weight unintentionally?
  • Have you had a change in your bowel habits?
  • Do you drink sodas or other carbonated beverages?
  • Do you eat food with sugar substitutes?
  • Do you frequently chew gum, suck on candies or drink through a straw?

What you can do in the meantime

Keep a journal of what you eat and drink, how many times a day you pass gas, and any other symptoms you experience. Bring the journal to your appointment. It can help your doctor determine whether there’s a connection between your gas or gas pains and your diet.

Last Updated: March 3rd, 2020

Can Gas Cause Chest Pain And What Are Some Signs Of A Heart Attack?

It is normal to pass gas around ten to twenty times a day, but at the same time, if you feel chest pain after having a meal, you should get a little worried. That is because if it was only gas, shouldn’t you feel the pain in your gut and not near your heart?

Although it might just be a simple feeling or sensation of gas pain near your chest, you never know it could be a serious heart issue. Read more to learn how to decide when you or your loved one need medical attention. After reading this article, you will have a clear picture of if you’re experiencing gas pain or a heart problem but if you are no clear, visit your nearest medical center immediately.

How Would You Know That Its Gas?

You will feel pain in your chest or the left portion of your colon if it’s due to gas. That is because you have swallowed too much air, and is now trapped in your digestive tract. Some other food-related reasons why you feel gas pain near your chest:

  • You are experiencing food intolerance that may have upset your digestive system.
  • You are consuming a lot of artificial sweeteners.
  • There is a possibility you have drank a lot of carbonated drinks which contain carbon dioxide gas.
  • Even overeating can be an issue.
  • If you are suffering from food poisoning, that might also be the case.

Some Medical Conditions That Could Be Causing You Gas Pains?
Other than food and drink items, these are some reasons you are having gas pains:

  • Stomach acid leaking up into your esophagus due to heartburn or indigestion.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, could cause air to trap in your esophagus.
  • Gallbladder disease could be another reason.
  • Gas builds up in the digestive system can be caused by Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Some Signs Of Gas Are?

There are some differences between when you’re feeling gas versus a heart attack:

  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Knotted stomach
  • Passing of gas
  • Quick, sharp pains that suddenly come and end

If you’re suffering from heartburn, you will experience stomach acid moving up from your stomach into your throat. You might taste something sour in your mouth as well. In this case, you should take antacids as it is one of the best ways to tackle chest pain due to gas.

  • Some signs of a heart attack:
  • Cold sweat
  • Increased heart rate
  • Squeezing pain in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Pain in arms, shoulder, neck,
  • Shortness of breath

If you feel any pain in the chest or need to discuss it with a doctor, please call (832) 478-5067

Is it extreme gas pain or something more serious?

Gas is like the common cold of gut afflictions: It’s pretty much impossible to avoid if you’re a human. And since it’s so ubiqutious, it can feel kind of embarrassing if you’re hit with a particularly severe case—you know, the kind that results in can’t-move, can’t-breathe, can’t-speak-in-full-sentences pain—and you end up in the emergency room, assuming it’s something way more serious.

Well, doctors want you to know two things. First of all, you’re definitely not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons why people show up in the ER. “In our department, we’ll probably see 30 or 40 of these cases a day,” says Mark Morocco, MD, an emergency doctor at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “But it will be the same at any hospital, whether it’s a trauma center or a small-town ER.”

The other thing they want to stress is that you likely made the right call by getting medical attention stat. “There can be some very serious diagnoses that have a similar presentation as gas pain,” says Reed Caldwell, MD, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “In the physician’s mind, gas pain is a diagnosis of exclusion. For serious pain in your abdomen, we think about many other things before we arrive at gas pain.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons why people show up in the ER.

This means that doctors start by ruling out conditions like appendicitis, heart attack, bowel obstruction, a parasite, or issues with your reproductive organs, depending on your specific set of symptoms. (And if your pain and bloating are accompanied by a fever, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, bloody stool, or an inability to keep food and drink down, you definitely shouldn’t wait to see a doctor.)

Once they’ve determined that gas is, indeed, the problem, your next question’s probably How do I keep this agony from ever coming back? Unfortunately, no one can make themselves completely immune, says Dr. Caldwell. “When normal bacteria go to work on the foods we eat, they can produce gas. It’s a very normal process that affects people variably,” he explains. “When you’re feeling gas pain, it’s because the tissues around the [gut] are distended, and this increased pressure is perceived as pain.”

Dr. Morocco adds that certain types of foods can create more gas than others—think beans, carbonated beverages, cruciferous veggies, and onions—and that food sensitivities or swallowing air (by, say, chewing gum or eating too quickly) can also result in gas and bloating. Constipation can also make it hard for gas to escape your digestive tract, which can be super uncomfortable.

Make no mistake: Though this may all sound innocuous enough, gas pain can be straight-up debilitating.  “The nerves in the gut are exquisitely sensitive,” says Dr. Morocco. “It can really freak people out, but [it’s the doctor’s job to] reassure you that what you’re feeling is not going to hurt you and give you some tools to help you deal with it.

If your gas pain’s chronic, this may mean a referral to a GI specialist, who can test you for things like lactose or gluten intolerance. Of course, giving up ice cream or pasta isn’t exactly desirable for anyone, but it sure beats trading your PJs for a hospital gown.

Related Stories

Gas is also a side-effect of air travel—here’s how 7 health pros avoid bloating in-flight. Plus, read about the one type of gas(sing) that you should actually look forward to getting. 

Gas, Bloating, and Burping | CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Topic Overview

Gas (flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that they pass gas too often or have too much gas, it is rare to have too much gas. Changing what you eat and drink can sometimes cut down on gas and relieve discomfort caused by gas.

Belching or burping (eructation) is the voluntary or involuntary, sometimes noisy release of air from the stomach or esophagus through the mouth. Burping 3 or 4 times after eating a meal is normal and is usually caused by swallowing air. Other causes of burping include nervous habits or other medical conditions, such as an ulcer or a gallbladder problem. In some cultures, a person may belch loudly after eating to show appreciation for the meal.

All people pass gas, but some people produce more gas than others. It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 20 times a day. Although this may embarrass or annoy you, excess intestinal gas usually is not caused by a serious health condition.

Common causes of gas and bloating include:

  • Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as flatus. Excessive air swallowing may cause hiccups.
  • Foods and beverages. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person.
  • Lactose intolerance. A person who cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products can have both gas and bloating as well as other symptoms.
  • Constipation. This can cause bloating but generally does not increase gas. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 11 and Younger or Constipation, Age 12 and Older.
  • Medicines or nutritional supplements. Both prescription and nonprescription medicines, as well as dietary supplements, can cause bloating and gas as side effects.
  • A medical condition, such as a bowel obstruction or Crohn’s disease.
  • Changes in hormone levels. It is common for women to have bloating right before their periods, because their bodies retain fluid.

Dyspepsia is a medical term that is used to describe a vague feeling of fullness, gnawing, or burning in the chest or upper abdomen, especially after eating. A person may describe this feeling as “gas.” Other symptoms may occur at the same time, such as belching, rumbling noises in the abdomen, increased flatus, poor appetite, and a change in bowel habits. Causes of dyspepsia can vary from minor to serious.

Occasionally, a person may dismiss serious symptoms, such as symptoms of a heart attack, as “just gas or indigestion.”

Check Your Symptoms

Do you have a problem with gas, bloating, or burping?

You may think of these symptoms as indigestion.


Gas, bloating, or burping problem


Gas, bloating, or burping problem

How old are you?

Less than 12 years

Less than 12 years

12 years or older

12 years or older

Are you male or female?

Why do we ask this question?

  • If you are transgender or nonbinary, choose the sex that matches the body parts (such as ovaries, testes, prostate, breasts, penis, or vagina) you now have in the area where you are having symptoms.
  • If your symptoms aren’t related to those organs, you can choose the gender you identify with.
  • If you have some organs of both sexes, you may need to go through this triage tool twice (once as “male” and once as “female”). This will make sure that the tool asks the right questions for you.

Do you have moderate or severe belly pain?

This is not the cramping type of pain you have with diarrhea.

Are you having trouble swallowing?

Can you swallow food or fluids at all?


Able to swallow food or fluids


Unable to swallow food or fluids

Have you had hiccups for more than 2 days?


Hiccups for more than 2 days


Hiccups for more than 2 days

Do hiccups occur often and disrupt your usual activities?


Hiccups occur often and disrupt activity


Hiccups occur often and disrupt activity

Do you think that a medicine could be causing the symptoms?

Think about whether the symptoms started after you began taking a new medicine or a higher dose of a medicine.


Medicine may be causing symptoms


Medicine may be causing symptoms

Have you tried home treatment for more than 1 week?


Tried home treatment for more than 1 week


Tried home treatment for more than 1 week

In the past few weeks, have you been losing weight without trying?


Has been losing weight without trying


Has been losing weight without trying

Have you felt less hungry than usual for more than 2 weeks?


Poor appetite for more than 2 weeks


Poor appetite for more than 2 weeks

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines that suppress the immune system like steroids or chemotherapy, herbal remedies, or supplements can cause symptoms or make them worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

Many nonprescription and prescription medicines and supplements can cause gas and bloating. A few examples are:

  • Aspirin.
  • Antacids.
  • Diarrhea medicines, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil.
  • Opioid pain medicines.
  • Fiber supplements and bulking agents, such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil.
  • Multivitamins and iron pills.

Symptoms of a heart attack may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
  • Sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
  • Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat.

For men and women, the most common symptom is chest pain or pressure. But women are somewhat more likely than men to have other symptoms, like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain.

Home treatment for gas and bloating includes things like:

  • Avoiding foods and drinks that make symptoms worse. (Some examples are chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, and, in some cases, spicy foods or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.)
  • Taking antacids.
  • Not smoking.
  • Not eating right before bedtime.

Make an Appointment

Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.

  • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the next 1 to 2 weeks.
  • If appropriate, try home treatment while you are waiting for the appointment.
  • If symptoms get worse or you have any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength (325 mg) or 2 to 4 low-dose (81 mg) aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

Sometimes people don’t want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren’t serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. Or they might be concerned about the cost. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

  • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care today.
  • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
  • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger

Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older

Home Treatment

Gas, bloating, and burping

Gas, bloating, and burping are usually harmless and go away without any treatment. If gas, bloating, or burping is making you uncomfortable, take the following steps to help manage your symptoms:

  • Increase the amount of fluid you drink, especially water. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  • Take a medicine that you can buy without a prescription. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
    • Activated charcoal tablets, such as CharcoCaps, may decrease odor from gas. Charcoal is usually taken after meals or at the first sign of gas discomfort.
    • Antacids, such as Maalox Anti-Gas and Mylanta Gas, allow gas to be belched away more easily. But these medicines often have no effect on gas that is already in the intestines. Be careful when you take over-the-counter antacid medicines. Many of these medicines have aspirin in them. Read the label to make sure that you are not taking more than the recommended dose. Too much aspirin can be harmful.
    • Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas.


Hiccups are usually harmless and go away without any treatment. But if hiccups are making you uncomfortable, the following safe and easy home remedies may help you manage your symptoms.

  • Swallow a teaspoon of dry granulated sugar. Do not use this remedy if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Hold your breath, and count slowly to 10.
  • Breathe repeatedly into a paper bag for a limited period of time.
  • Quickly drink a glass of cold water.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Hiccups don’t go away as expected or they return frequently.
  • Swallowing problems are not improving.
  • You continue to lose weight for no reason.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.


You may be able to prevent gas, bloating, burping, and hiccups.

  • Avoid foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and bran. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person.
  • Take steps to avoid swallowing air:
    • Eat slowly. Avoid gulping food or beverages. When you rush through meals or eat on the run, you are more likely to swallow air.
    • Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow.
    • Avoid talking while you chew.
    • Avoid drinking through a straw.
    • Avoid chewing gum or eating hard candy.
    • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
    • Do not drink alcohol.
    • Avoid sudden changes in stomach temperature, such as drinking a hot beverage and then a cold beverage.
    • If you wear dentures, check with a dentist to make sure they fit properly.
    • Keep calm. Tension and anxiety can cause you to swallow air.
  • Keep a food diary if you suspect that gas is caused by certain foods. Write down what you eat or drink and when symptoms occur to help you identify foods or drinks that may cause gas. After these problem foods are identified, avoid or limit them to reduce or prevent symptoms.
    • Talk with your doctor or a dietitian about ways to maintain a balanced diet if you want to permanently eliminate certain foods or drinks. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.
    • If you suspect that milk or other dairy products are causing your symptoms, try limiting or eliminating these foods. For more information, see the topic Lactose Intolerance.
    • If you cook with dry beans, soak them in water overnight, then pour off the water and cook the soaked beans in fresh water. This may reduce the amount of natural sugars in the beans after the cooling process and help prevent gas and bloating.
  • Do not overeat. Large meals can make you feel bloated. Try eating 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones.
  • Avoid constipation, which is a common cause of bloating. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 12 and Older or Constipation, Age 11 and Younger.
  • Avoid laxatives.
  • Use an antigas product that you can buy without a prescription.
    • Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas.
    • If you have lactose intolerance, lactase enzyme supplements, such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid, can be taken with dairy products to help break down lactose in food.
    • Peppermint and other herbs (carminatives) that soothe the digestive tract may permit belching and decrease bloating after large meals.
  • Exercise regularly.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What is your main symptom? How long have you had this symptom?
  • How long do symptoms last when they occur?
  • What do you think is causing your symptoms?
  • Have you tried any home treatment? If so, what measures have you tried? Have they helped?
  • Have you been treated for this problem in the past? What was the treatment? Did it help?
  • Do you think your symptoms are caused by what or how you eat?
    • Do symptoms seem to begin after you have certain foods or drinks? If so, which ones?
    • Do you chew gum, eat rapidly, drink carbonated beverages, or drink through a straw?
  • Do you wear dentures? Do they fit properly?
  • Do you smoke or use other tobacco products?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If so, how much?
  • Do any other symptoms occur along with burping, gas, or bloating, such as a change in your bowel habits, heartburn, vomiting, or abdominal pain?
  • Have you had any recent illness or changes in your health?
  • Have you lost or gained more than a few pounds in the past month?
  • Did you drink lake or stream water or untreated well water?
  • Have you recently visited a foreign country or taken a ship cruise?
  • Does anyone in your family have celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or intolerance to lactose or other food products?
  • Do you have any health risks?


Current as of:
February 26, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine

Current as of: February 26, 2020

Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine

What’s causing your gas & flatulence? What causes trapped wind?

  • The average adult breaks wind 12-25 times a day
  • Sweeteners ending with ‘-tol’ are hard-to-digest sugar alcohols which can cause flatulence
  • Wind problems might be down to an underlying condition

It’s normal to pass wind every now and then, but when it happens frequently it can undermine your confidence. And while it varies between individuals, on average we emit gas from our mouth or bottom between 12 and 25 times a day.

Gas builds up in the digestive tract in two ways: by swallowing air or as a by-product of gut bacteria breaking down foods. Having some gas is inevitable and perfectly normal, but having a lot of wind problems could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

During digestion, chemicals called enzymes break down foods so they can be absorbed in the small intestine. During this process, some undigested sugars, starches and fibres reach the large intestine. There, they ferment as bacteria in the gut try to break them down. This produces gases, including carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, which are released as flatulence.

Yes, trapped wind can cause pain and discomfort. If you do experience painful trapped wind, you‘ll likely feel it in your stomach and lower abdomen.

Common symptoms of trapped wind include a bloated stomach or abdomen, flatulence or burping, stomach cramps, a rumbling or gurgling sound, nausea, and pain when you bend or exercise.

Everyone passes wind and many factors, from your genes to an underlying condition, can lead to increased gas and flatulence. But you can reduce unwanted wind problems — the first step is to identify the source of the problem. Here are some of the likely reasons:

Eating or drinking too quickly makes us swallow air, which is then released as burps and belches. Swallowing air, or aerophagia as doctors call it, can also be caused by chewing gum, smoking, having a blocked nose and wearing dentures that don’t fit properly. It‘s common to experience trapped wind after eating.

Foods that cause trapped wind and flatulence include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, dried fruit and beans because they tend to contain a lot of hard-to-digest fibres and sugars. But these are incredibly important in the diet, particularly for detoxification of the liver.

If you suspect these foods, before you cut them out, keep a diary of your trapped wind after eating different foods. It could be that only particular vegetables or bean types cause problems. Raw vegetables such as cabbage might be problematic for you, but lightly steamed may not — so note down how you react in relation to the cooking method of the food you’re consuming too.

Sweeteners such as xylitol and sorbitol — which are commonly used in reduced-calorie drinks, chewing gums, sweets, cakes and biscuits — cause flatulence because we lack the enzymes needed to digest them. Any sweetener ending with ‘-tol’ can cause problems.

Fructose is a fruit sugar found in table sugar, sweeteners and syrups, dried fruits, juices and other processed foods and drinks. Our bodies can’t digest too much fructose at one time, and it can add up quickly in our bodies. An apple, or a 200ml glass of orange juice, both have around 6g of fructose and some carbonated drinks have up to 50g for a single can or bottle. For many of us, undigested fructose reaches the large intestine — where it ferments and produces gas.

Gut bacteria play a key role in digestion. Around 500 different bacteria species are found in the large intestine and everyone’s microbiome — as this mix of bacteria is known — is unique.

As bacteria interact with undigested carbohydrates in the gut, they produce a range of different gases and these can lead to excessive wind and flatulence.

Our microbiome is influenced by our diet, lifestyle and use of antibiotics can lead to significant changes in the gases we produce. That’s why antibiotics can sometimes cause flatulence, and why probiotics — which contain so-called friendly bacteria — can improve the balance of beneficial bacteria and reduce flatulence and other gastric symptoms. Probiotic drinks and yogurts are readily available, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi also provide probiotics.

Medicines including ibuprofen, statins and antifungals can sometimes cause flatulence. Speak to your doctor if you suspect a medicine you take regularly is causing wind problems.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects as many as 1 in 5 people and can arise from food passing through the gut too quickly or slowly, overly sensitive nerves in the gut, food intolerances and stress. It can also cause stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time, and episodes can last for days, weeks or months. Talk to your doctor, who can suggest a management plan. This may include adherence to an eating plan known as the FODMAPs diet, which has been clinically shown to help with IBS symptoms, however it must be followed with the supervision of a dietitian.

Lactose intolerance occurs when we don’t make enough lactase, the enzyme needed to break down and digest milk sugars. Warning signs include excessive flatulence as well as diarrhoea, bloating, stomach pain or feeling sick after consuming lactose-containing dairy foods such as milk and cheese. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you might have it.

Coeliac disease occurs when your immune system reacts to gluten found in many foods. It can cause symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, weight loss and skin problems. It affects around 1 in 100 people and often runs in the family. A doctor can diagnose coeliac disease with a simple blood test.

  1. Keep a food diary to identify foods that cause wind — and avoid them.
  2. Eat smaller meals, more often — and chew food slowly. This gives the amylase in saliva more time to start breaking down carbohydrates which can help prevent excess wind.
  3. Drink plenty of water — this reduces the risk of constipation and keeps things moving.
  4. Drink peppermint tea — it contains essential oils which have been shown to reduce flatulence and bloating.
  5. Exercise to improve digestion — studies confirm light exercise, such as walking or a gentle bike ride, will reduce symptoms. It’s believed exercise helps matter move through the intestine so it may aid constipation too.
  6. Check your fibre intake — most of us don’t eat enough fibre. Around 30g a day is recommended. Fruits, vegetables and wholegrains such as wholemeal bread, oats and quinoa are good sources.

Speak to a doctor if you have other symptoms such as bloating, pain, diarrhoea, constipation, chronic belching or there’s blood in your poo – these could be a sign of something more serious.

This article has been medically approved by Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP

90,000 Experts talk about the pros and cons of the Chinese gas route

In the long term, Russia will be able to reduce the cost of gas supplies to Europe by 60% – to $ 300-400 per thousand cubic meters, Bloomberg reported yesterday. However, even such a significant concession from Gazprom will not be able to shake the EU’s course of replacing traditional energy sources with alternative ones. In theory, Russia could diversify the European route, but the country will not have enough resource capacity to increase supplies to China, experts say.

Russia’s European priority

The EU has long been talking about replacing traditional energy sources with alternative ones. However, even a partial implementation of the “green” strategy presented during the emergency EU energy summit will take at least 10-15 years. In fact, the Europeans currently have no real alternative to traditional Russian gas, analysts say.

“In Europe, as well as in Russia,“ green ”projects can be sponsored so far only with the help of government subsidies.They are unstable, so in the next 15 years, gas exports to the EU from Russia will not go anywhere. If everything were so rosy, the EU would not actively reactivate coal mines now.

According to forecasts, by 2040 the share of carbon capacities in the energy balance of the European Union will decrease from 80% to 73-74%, that is, in fact, the Europeans have tied themselves to Russian gas “,

– explained the Doctor of Economics Nikita Krichevsky.

Alexey Gromov, Chief Director for Energy at the Institute of Energy and Finance, agrees with him.According to him, the common position of the European Commission on the continuation of the energy transition does not reflect the point of view of all countries of the Union. The fact is that many states of Central and Western Europe, including Hungary, reinsured themselves in advance by signing a long-term 15-year contract with Gazprom.

“Serbia has followed the same path, which also intends to conclude a new long-term contract with Gazprom. The countries now have to discuss only the price issue. Obviously, the trend towards energy security for the sake of an accelerated energy transition is now becoming more pronounced.

In the next 10-15 years, Russian gas will remain an important component of the EU balance. The behavior of individual countries such as Moldova should be considered political hysteria, knocking out of the general channel “,

– Gromov concluded.

Chinese direction

In the foreseeable future, China could become a potential replacement for the European gas market for Russia. However, Gazprom currently does not have sufficient technical resources to increase supplies. The fact is that the existing Power of Siberia gas pipeline, commissioned at the end of 2019, allows pumping no more than 10 billion cubic meters of fuel annually.Russia has no alternative routes in the Far East now, experts explained.

According to Alexander Gulkov, Head of the Department of Oil and Gas Business and Petrochemistry at the Engineering School of the Far Eastern Federal University, the current conditions for the supply of Russian gas are more beneficial to China than to the Russian Federation itself.It’s all about a special price formula, to which the cost of fuel sent through the Power of Siberia pipeline is tied. Thanks to this, Beijing receives Russian gas at one of the lowest prices among all Gazprom’s contracts – approximately $ 170-171 per thousand cubic meters. Below – only Belarus and $ 128.5 per thousand cubic meters.

“All Russian gas projects in the Far East have already been contracted. The LNG plant on Sakhalin and enterprises in Vladivostok have long had a certain base of Asian recipient countries, including China.The same story is with Power of Siberia. So, in some periods of 2021, the price per thousand cubic meters there reached $ 140-150 per thousand cubic meters. In fact, Gazprom does not have a resource base to increase supplies – the network of the European part of Russia is fully occupied, and there are no other sources at the moment “,

– explained Gulkov.

The paradox of the low cost of Russian gas for China was noted in an interview with Gazeta.Ru by Gromov from the Institute of Energy and Finance. According to him, the whole point is in the special linking of the cost to the domestic raw material market of China.The fact is that the rest of the contracts of the Russian gas giant are focused more on international resource markets, which makes the cost of gas more expensive.

“Under the current contract, China buys Russian gas at a very favorable price for itself. I do not think that in the future Gazprom will be interested in maintaining the current price conditions. It’s all about the special price formula, which remains a secret behind seven seals. It is largely tied to the domestic Chinese raw material market, which is regulated with a low cost of coal and electricity compared to foreign sites ”,

– suggested by Gromov.

However, even the current low cost of a thousand cubic meters will result in significant benefits for Gazprom next year, given the 6-9-month lag. That is why the consequences of the crisis in China’s commodity consumption at the end of last year were carried over to the fall of 2021. Now, the cost of natural resources in Beijing has increased several times, which in the summer of next year may bring fuel prices from Russia to $ 300-400 per thousand cubic meters.

Beijing focus on LNG

At one time, Gazprom should have laid the route of the Power of Siberia pipeline all the way to the east coast of China, where dozens of large LNG terminals are located, experts say.It is there that the main resource trade of Beijing is concentrated. At the same time, the current branch of the Russian monopolist is largely dependent on consumer demand from residents of the northern provinces of China like Harbin, where a relatively small number of people live. That is why Beijing was able to push its own pricing terms to Gazprom, experts say.

According to Gulkov of the Far Eastern Federal University, the construction of gas pipelines focused exclusively on consumers is now becoming increasingly unprofitable.Under such a scheme, it is impossible to store fuel in underground tanks. Therefore, if you have unstable demand, then the pipeline will cease to pay for itself. So now it is happening with the “Power of Siberia”.

“The country where the main consumers live has the right to dictate its terms to the supplier. This is a vivid illustration of the business relationship between Gazprom and the Chinese CNPC. That is why Russian gas is now being supplied to Beijing at an extremely low price.

Plus Russia has strong competitors in the Chinese market from Central Asia, including Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which supply gas at a price of $ 170-180 per thousand cubic meters.That is, China has where to switch even in the event of a reduction in Russian supplies ”,

– explained Gulkov.

The expert also added that over the past 20 years, Beijing has purposefully built gas terminals to receive LNG. Moreover, the Chinese manage to accept cheap Russian gas in the north of the country, liquefy it and transport it in cisterns to the east coast, where they can profitably resell it on the Asian market at a much higher price.

“China is not interested in Russian gas.The north of the country is less promising than the east coast. In this regard, the development of the Northern Sea Route would become a kind of gold mine for the Russian Federation, which Novatek is actively using now. Gazprom initially miscalculated, laying the pipeline only to the northern provinces. It would be much more profitable to lay a branch to the Pacific Ocean – to the region of the Sea of ​​Japan. There, in the terminals, gas would be liquefied, due to which the road to the rich Asian LNG site would be opened for the monopolist ”,

– summed up Gulkov.

This position is not shared by Gromov from the Institute of Energy and Finance. In his opinion, if during the implementation of the Power of Siberia-2 project, Gazprom succeeds in pushing through the change in the internal Chinese oil link to the international exchanges of oil products, this will automatically raise the average cost of each thousand cubic meters of gas to $ 300.

“The current tie is a painful issue for Gazprom. I doubt that in the future the monopolist will be interested in maintaining unfavorable conditions for itself. Moreover, in the foreseeable future, China will be ready to accommodate Russia. The fact is that now Beijing buys ultra-expensive LNG from the Asian market. In this regard, a small increase in the cost of Russian gas will still benefit against the background of high prices for liquefied fuel “,

– emphasized Gromov.

With the commissioning of Power of Siberia-2, the total capacity of Gazprom’s two branches will amount to almost 90 billion cubic meters of gas.However, at best, stable pumping will occur in 5-7 years. For comparison, in 2020 alone, Gazprom supplied almost 175 billion cubic meters of natural fuel to Europe. That is, right now Beijing will not be able to compete with the EU in the fight for Russian gas. For the Russian Federation, the European route is still an indispensable direction, experts agreed.

“Now China’s neighbors sell gas to Beijing at 20-30% more than Russia. Gazprom is losing insane amounts, but it still continues to supply cheap fuel.

Russia was pulling the Power of Siberia pipe, in theory, Russia needs to pay for it somehow. Therefore, the behavior of Gazprom remains an inexplicable mystery to me. As a result, the economic interaction between Beijing and Moscow is increasingly reminiscent of the “suzerain-vassal” scheme, concluded Nikita Krichevsky.

Gas protection – Newspaper Kommersant No. 43 (5316) dated 17.03.2014

Whatever the EU’s reaction to the referendum on the status of Crimea, European leaders will have to take into account the factor of Russian gas.In 2013, Gazprom sold 138 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU countries, occupying almost 29% of the market and demonstrating the best result since the pre-crisis 2008, despite weak demand and regulatory obstacles. So far, the EU can neither ignore its dependence on Russia, nor get rid of it. But if there is political will in the long term, it is able to minimize purchases of Russian gas.

Market is overcrowded

“The European gas market is overcrowded, demand is well below the minimum withdrawal levels for long-term contracts,” said Hans-Peter Floren, a member of the OMV Board of Directors in January, summing up the 2013 results.In his opinion, demand for gas in Europe until 2020 will stagnate at best, so the terms of long-term contracts should be revised, and suppliers should reduce prices in order to restore the competitiveness of gas. After some recovery in 2010, EU gas demand fell by 7.5% in 2011 and another 3.5% in 2012, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to Kommersant’s estimates, based on Eurostat’s operational data, in 2013, gas demand in the EU increased by about 1%, to 480 billion cubic meters, but half of the growth was provided by consumption in Croatia, which entered the EU in the middle of the year and earlier in statistics did not taken into account.

Until recently, Gazprom believed that increasing its supplies to Europe was a matter of time, as domestic production in the region was falling. Having reached a peak of 325 billion cubic meters in 2004, by 2014 they decreased by 13% due to the depletion of deposits. According to the IEA, by 2020 the production level may fall by another 40 billion cubic meters. But gas demand in Europe is declining at such a rate that imports are shrinking despite a decline in production.According to Gazprom, the EU, together with Turkey, imported 253 billion cubic meters of gas from external sources in 2013, which is 0.5% less than in 2012 and 15% less than in 2010.

“If the market is overcrowded, why aren’t spot prices going down in Europe?” – the interlocutor of “Kommersant” in “Gazprom” sarcastically. In his opinion, the market is normalizing and a balance has been achieved compared to the chaos of recent years, when the drop in demand and the arrival of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar unjustifiably lowered prices. LNG supplies, which reached 80 billion cubic meters in 2011, dropped to 55 billion cubic meters in 2012, and in 2013, according to Kommersant’s estimates, to 46 billion cubic meters, since the Asian market offers suppliers a large premium.For 10 years, almost all EU countries have built regasification terminals, increasing their capacity fivefold, up to 180 billion cubic meters. But in 2013, the capacity utilization rate for most terminals did not exceed 20%, while a minimum of 50% is needed for payback. “Even a slight interruption in LNG supplies immediately affects prices,” one of the British traders complains to Kommersant.

No need to flatter yourself

“Gas is completely out of competition in all sectors, especially in the electricity sector,” says Head E.On Global Commodities Christopher Delbrück. According to ENTSOE estimates, the share of gas in European generation fell from 22% at the beginning of 2009 to 14% by mid-2013, while the share of coal increased from 25% to 26%. Taking into account the general decline in energy demand, the demand for gas in generation has been declining by an average of 11% per year over the past three years, against an increase of 4.3% per year in 2000-2010. According to Mr. Delbrück, it’s all about the cost of gas: fuel costs for coal-fired thermal power plants are now 2.5 times less than for gas-fired ones.Kommersant’s interlocutor in one of the largest European gas companies expressed himself even more definitely: “It was Gazprom that killed demand in Europe with its gas prices.”

“The Europeans themselves killed their gas market, creating a monster in the power industry,” retorts a Kommersant source in Gazprom. In his opinion, even if gas were half the price, subsidies for renewable energy sources and low prices for CO2 emissions would still make gas generation ineffective.”And then, is this the problem of the supplier, that gas is losing the competition? Let the regulation be changed,” says the source of Kommersant. “There is no need to flatter yourself, demand is shrinking, and Gazprom should accept the reality: the market needs pricing based on hub prices and greater flexibility in contracts, otherwise everyone, including producers, will suffer losses,” says a top manager of one of the gas companies in Western Europe.

Gazprom has always declared the inviolability of long-term contracts and pricing based on an oil peg, but in fact, in the past two years, it has been actively meeting the Europeans halfway.The monopoly does not disclose prices for individual countries, reporting only the average price for non-CIS countries (EU countries minus the Baltic states plus Turkey). In 2013, it fell by 4% to $ 387 per 1,000 cubic meters, being only slightly above the average spot price at the UK gas hub NBP ($ 377) and much lower than the average price at the most liquid continental European hub TTF ($ 445). Moreover, at the end of 2012, Gazprom paid approximately $ 4 billion in retroactive payments for deliveries over the previous three years, which is equivalent to a 3% decrease in the average price over this period.

Gazprom also agreed to the introduction of a spot component in contracts with some consumers in the amount of 15% of the supply volume. The price is determined based on the quotations of European gas hubs, for these volumes there is actually a 100% take-or-pay – buyers must choose them first. At the same time, the monopoly reduced the overall level of take-or-pay for many contracts, and for others it transferred unselected volumes to the next periods (make-up gas). All these measures were presented by Gazprom as temporary until the market stabilizes, but there are no signs of a return to the previous model.The share of spot sales in the EU is growing, and all local gas companies are trying to reduce take-or-pay volumes due to uncertainty with demand.

Looks good on paper

There is no consensus on the prospects for long-term contracts as such in Europe. Western European companies such as E.On and SDF Suez, which suffered huge losses in 2009-2012 due to the difference in prices for long-term contracts and wholesale prices, insist on moving to a more flexible system – short contracts for three to four years with indexation by spot.The second largest supplier after Gazprom, the Norwegian Statoil, meets them halfway, but with 100% take-or-pay. This forces large consumers to contract minimum volumes, and when demand grows (for example, a cold snap), go to purchase gas for the hub. “In fact, they first go to the hub, and if they need serious volumes, they simply increase the selection under our contracts,” says a Kommersant source at Gazprom. “If the hubs really provided peaks in consumption, the price for them would be different. Therefore, the quotes of the hubs do not exceed our prices for long-term contracts, because as soon as the price rises, the Europeans come to us, and they stop buying at the hubs,” explains he.

Perhaps this explains the fact that companies in Southern Europe, where the liquidity of the hubs is less, are in no hurry to abandon long-term contracts. “We in Europe will not be able to live without long-term contracts, now they cover 70% of demand,” Marco Arcelli, vice president of the gas division of Enel, said at a conference in Vienna in late January. But one of Kommersant’s interlocutors in the market notes that in fact the concept of a long-term contract has changed over the past five or six years. “The contracts are revised every two to three years, the price and volumes change; in fact, the term of the contract has been reduced to several years, and what is now called a long-term contract is just a framework agreement,” he said.

The rules of the game could change even more when Brussels implements a targeted gas market model. It is intended to become the next step towards the creation of a single EU gas market. The bottom line is that the entire market will be divided into several entry / exit zones with free gas flows within the zone, each of which will have a virtual trading hub. Gas sales are only possible at hubs, which means a full transition to spot pricing.

The second aspect that is painful for Gazprom is gas transportation, since the capacities will be sold at auctions and booked independently at the entrance and exit.To get gas from Gazprom, for example, to Italy, it needs to cross the borders of four EU countries, and booking capacity can become a problem. In fact, the new system will stimulate Gazprom to sell gas at the EU border. A Kommersant source in Gazprom said that it is still pointless to discuss the model in detail. “Again we will pay for the EU’s experiments with competition,” he predicted grimly. The model is not too clear for European companies either. For example, in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the gas infrastructure is not sufficiently developed for free flows.”On paper, all this looks good, but it is not clear who should pay for it,” says a Kommersant source in one of the Balkan gas operators.

The gap between Europe and Asia

In the light of recent events in Ukraine, European leaders, in particular Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, called for a reduction in dependence on gas from Russia in order to have freedom in the use of sanctions. Russian gas has never been loved in Europe, and after the Ukraine gas crisis in 2009, the EU began to take real steps to reduce its dependence on Russia.Gas pipelines-interconnectors have been planned and partly already built for free gas flows between the countries, and a strategic gas reserve is being discussed in Brussels. The main hopes are connected with LNG, and the regasification capacities make it possible to stop importing gas from Russia. But prices in the EU are not very attractive for LNG suppliers. Local officials officially hope for their return, but Kommersant’s interlocutors in Europe are pessimistic: “We have all seen this chart with the prices of Henry Hub, NBP and spot LNG supplies to Japan, and it is customary to pay attention to the price gap between the US and Europe, but after all, the gap between Europe and Asia is just as huge. “

European gas companies mainly hope that the EU will become a balancing market for LNG from the United States and receive some of this gas due to the desire of the owners of LNG projects to diversify supply routes. But the minimum cost of these supplies, according to the head of Total Gas & Power Philippe Soke, will not be less than $ 10 per MBTU ($ 358 per 1,000 cubic meters). “I don’t think Europe has a significant opportunity to cut prices,” he said. In addition, US LNG will be supplied mainly under short-term contracts or with options for redirecting gas.That is, these volumes will not come to the EU with better conditions in other markets. In the long term, a general decline in demand may pose a big threat to Gazprom, especially if EU regulators continue their policy of avoiding gas in generation. Gazprom itself in its latest presentation to investors admitted that reduced demand, coupled with the development of unconventional gas by 2030, could reduce the market niche for imports to the EU and Turkey by 20%.

Yuri Barsukov

90,000 Gazprom: there is no reason to revise the gas price for Ukraine

Photo author, Reuters

Signs to the photo,

Gas is an invariable issue on the agenda of the Ukrainian-Russian negotiations

economic cooperation of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission with the participation of the prime ministers of Ukraine and Russia.The head of Gazprom, who participated in the negotiations, called the market prices for gas for Kiev.

Following the meeting, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov said that the Intergovernmental Committee for Economic Cooperation had done a great job and said that the parties discussed cooperation in the field of shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, energy and agriculture.

“I am pleased to state that the leadership of the Russian Government and the new ministers are sincerely interested in the development of our bilateral cooperation.I am convinced that with the arrival of a new government team, a new impetus will be given to our cooperation, “the Government portal quotes Mykola Azarov.

Ukraine and Russia have also agreed to prepare a cooperation program in the field of mechanical engineering for 2013-2014.

According to the press service government, the meeting also signed the Program of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes for 2012-2016.

Gazprom: there is no reason to revise gas prices

In the reports of the Government portal following the meeting, nothing was said about an agreement in the gas sector, although this issue is one of the most painful in relations between Russia and Ukraine and a compromise in they hoped to achieve this area at the meeting between Medvedev and Azarov. At the same time, the head of the Russian gas monopoly, who was also in Kiev on Wednesday, once again stated that the price of gas for Ukraine is the market one.

“Today we do not see any grounds for revising prices. The prices are absolutely market-based. I can say that prices for Ukraine are much lower than for a number of countries in Europe,” the Interfax news agency quotes Alexey Miller.

The Ukrainian prime minister also said even before the committee meeting that Kiev had no complaints against Moscow regarding the legality of signing gas contracts in January 2009, the revision of which the Ukrainian authorities had been unsuccessfully seeking for the second year in a row.

Photo author, president.gov.ua

Pidpis to photo,

Yanukovych said that he was worried about the gas problem

officials who signed a contract in violation of the current Ukrainian legislation and caused colossal damage to the country. Our government made the mistake of signing an unfair 10-year treaty, because of which 46 million people of Ukraine suffer, “Azarov said.

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko is serving a sentence of seven years in prison for abuse of power during the signing in January 2009 of gas agreements between Ukraine and Russia.

On the eve of Alexander Medvedev, General Director of Gazpromexport LLC, said that negotiations on revising gas prices with Ukraine are not being held.

Positives and progress in all areas

Both the Russian Prime Minister and the Ukrainian leaders radiated optimism at the committee meeting and spoke about the positives of mutual cooperation, however, without detailing them.

At a meeting of the committee on economic cooperation, Prime Minister Azarov said that issues arise in relations with Russia, the solution of which requires not only political will, but also patience.

“The most important thing is that the parties are determined to move forward,” said Mykola Azarov, and Dmitry Medvedev, even before the meeting, said that there are “positive results” in relations between Ukraine and Russia.

President Viktor Yanukovych, at a meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, expressed hope that the parties would make progress in all areas, but acknowledged that resolving the gas issue in relations with the Russian Federation remains an important topic for Ukraine.

“Of course, I will not hide the fact that the gas problem continues to worry me seriously,” said Viktor Yanukovych, quoted by the presidential press service.

In turn, Dmitry Medvedev noted that today it is important for Ukraine and Russia to move forward in the areas of cooperation that are traditionally discussed at the highest level, including the gas theme. He noted that Russia is still determined to develop cooperation with Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia have agreed that the next meeting of the intergovernmental committee will take place in the second half of 2012 in Russia.

Energy environment No. 36. Ekaterina Orlova. European Gas Markets 2018 – Oil Industry

In program 36 of the Energomeda cycle, Ekaterina Orlova, Head of the Gas Markets Sector at the Institute of Energy and Finance, will talk about the European gas markets in general and Gazprom in particular. The program is hosted by Sergey Nikitin.

Sergey Nikitin: Hello, dear friends! With you is the “Neftyanka” channel, the “Energosreda” program and I – its host Sergey Nikitin.

Ekaterina Orlova is in our studio. A year ago we met with her, Well, about a year. And I will introduce her with a short pause. Where do I want to start? Katya, hello, first of all!

Ekaterina Orlova: Hello!

Sergey Nikitin: Glad to see you! Ours is pretty stable. We started the last show, you were smart, beautiful and strong. I see nothing has changed. Is that a little prettier, wiser. That is, it is stable.

Ekaterina Orlova: Yes.

Sergei Nikitin: Our gas markets are also stable – they continue to kill us, as I told you last time. And from the unstable – only your career growth. You are now the Head of the Gas Markets Sector at the Institute of Energy and Finance. A bit late, but still nice, and we congratulate you on this.

Ekaterina Orlova: Thank you.

Sergey Nikitin: Well, let’s go straight from the analysis. What has changed in a year since that last transmission of ours?

Ekaterina Orlova: Everything has changed for the better on the European gas markets.The European side has set itself the goal of developing exchange and over-the-counter gas trading, and over the past year, volumes and price quotations on exchanges and electronic trading platforms have increased, become more reliable and become better benchmarks for long-term contracts of external gas suppliers.

Sergey Nikitin: But who got better? Has Gazprom gotten better, has Russia gotten better?

Ekaterina Orlova: So far, Russia is good on this issue, yes.Because export deliveries from Russia to Europe in 2017 increased relative to 2016, and the price of gas under long-term contracts began to go up slightly, and at present it continues this movement. Accordingly, this is good for Gazprom, because it is well reflected in the amount of money that comes from the volume of gas sales in the European market.

Sergey Nikitin: Are the trading volumes or gas volumes supplied by Gazprom to Europe, are they now more traded on stock exchanges or under old contracts?

Ekaterina Orlova: Gazprom trades gas only under long-term contracts.But it has a branch – Gazprom Marketing and Trading. They trade gas on exchanges, but this is mainly gas that is resold, it is not gas under long-term contracts. That is, everything is stable for Gazprom so far. Gas is sold under long-term contracts, mainly with oil product price indexation, a small piece was given to the exchange peg and the volumes of supplies are growing.

Sergey Nikitin: And if you draw a parallel between long-term contracts of Gazprom and long-term contracts of other European suppliers, Norwegians, Dutch? There is a powerful difference now in the formation of prices between our companies and between European ones.

Ekaterina Orlova: Yes, Norway and the Netherlands have almost 100% switched to long-term contracts with exchange price indexation. Accordingly, at present, their price depends on how much the price on the exchange changes. And I can say that the price on the exchange is quite stable, and it is growing steadily and can steadily decline.

Our Russian contracts are predominantly linked to the petroleum product basket. Accordingly, how the oil price changes, our gas price under long-term contracts will also change.What do we see now? Currently, the oil price is very unstable, and at one time the price of our Russian gas dropped very much, but now it is starting to move upward, because the oil price is also showing an increase.

Sergei Nikitin: If we take the current year, 2018, since the beginning of the year who has won more, the Europeans, having switched to the exchange trading system, or Gazprom, having switched to the system of assessing the exchange price of gas, or Gazprom, which has remained on its own long term contracts? That is, if Gazprom went to the stock exchange, would it earn more or less?

Ekaterina Orlova: I can say that prices for all suppliers are approximately the same.This is not to say that some of them earn more, and some less, because in principle they are in the same corridor, but sometimes they change places. That is, now everyone earns about the same as they earned before. Gazprom has no great advantage or disadvantage.

Sergei Nikitin: During the last broadcast, you and I just stopped at the fact that the European Commission has big claims to Gazprom, and we just expected, literally a few months after the shooting, that Gazprom would give some their justification or counter-claim to the European Commission, to the European Union.How are you doing now?

Ekaterina Orlova: Things are more or less normal. Let me remind you how this case went. The antitrust investigation itself began in 2012. This happened due to the fact that the European Commission had previously accused Gazprom of using its dominant position and violating the principles of competition policy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, namely: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. At that moment, what were the main claims of the European Commission to Gazprom? That Gazprom possibly divides the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, which hinders the free flow of gas within this region, hinders the diversification of gas supplies and imposes, sets high gas prices under long-term contracts for wholesale buyers in Central and Eastern Europe.

After these claims were put forward by the European Commission, for 3 years until 2015, Gazprom carried out a very large, colossal work with its wholesale buyers, not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in North-Western Europe, he revised a colossal number of long-term contracts, he provided discounts. He also gave some companies the opportunity to index their prices against stock prices and slightly downgraded the take-or-pay conditions.

After that, already in 2017, the European Commission published Gazprom’s proposals, specifically the conditions that Gazprom proposes in order to completely regulate the antitrust investigation. Gazprom itself proposed to remove in its current and new contracts all conditions that prohibit the resale of gas, because the European side believes that if gas has entered the territory of the European Union, it is the property of the Europeans. Accordingly, Gazprom cannot impose any obligations, resell or not resell this gas.

Further, Gazprom provided discounts for some countries of Central and Eastern Europe. And another important point – he said that Bulgaria, which participated in the construction of South Stream, will not incur any financial losses in accordance with the closure of this project and the cancellation of its construction.

A certain amount of time has passed. There were, of course, negotiations between Gazprom and the European Commission. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a final decision that completely closes the antitrust investigation against Gazprom.And here are a number of obligations that Gazprom must fulfill. All these obligations are legally formalized, and if Gazprom violates at least one of these obligations, then the European Commission reserves the right to fine Gazprom by 10% of the global turnover of the Gazprom Group around the world without evidence of antimonopoly legislation. What obligations did the European Commission impose on Gazprom?

There are four obligations. First, that in its new and existing long-term contracts, Gazprom removes the fixed clauses on gas supplies to a country in Central and Eastern Europe, and also allows the resale of its Russian gas.

Sergey Nikitin: What does “fixed points” mean?

Ekaterina Orlova: Each contract states that if, for example, there is a contract between a Hungarian wholesale company and the Russian company Gazprom, then gas should be supplied only to Hungary and there is a fixed point where this gas will be supplied, and this gas further can not go anywhere else.

Sergey Nikitin: What are the losses of Gazprom, in your opinion, from this point, if immediately in turn, both political and financial?

Ekaterina Orlova: Here, to this point, it should be added that the European Commission obliged Gazprom to introduce swap operations as an addition to the contract.Financial losses lie in the fact that if, for example, in Hungary, there are some volumes of gas that it does not buy from Gazprom even under the “take or pay” conditions, then this gas must be supplied to some other country The European Union, namely, to a country in Central or Eastern Europe. Mostly this will be a paid service, of course, but it will be quite inexpensive. Here Gazprom is losing a standard buyer with standard volumes of gas, because at some point it will have to become a more flexible company, and supply this gas to the country where this gas is really needed, more than, for example, in starting point in Hungary.

Sergey Nikitin: Or maybe it will turn out on the contrary, Hungary will take this surplus and will now resell it, for example, to the Czech Republic?

Ekaterina Orlova: She can resell herself, and can agree in advance with Gazprom, and Gazprom will have to supply gas not to Hungary, but to some other country. This is where flexibility comes in with the client. If earlier Gazprom was a conservative company, now this company will be a market one in Europe, and Gazprom will obey market rules.

There is no discrimination in the obligations that the European Commission issued to Gazprom. This is the real market game, this is the real market rules. What Gazprom will definitely not lose, but only gain, is to be a flexible company, more customer-oriented.

Sergey Nikitin: On the one hand, yes. God forbid! We have sorted out the first point. And the second point?

Ekaterina Orlova: The second point is a mandatory addition, swap transactions.This will be mandatory, at an additional cost for Gazprom. But this will be a prerequisite.

Further. The price under Gazprom’s long-term contracts must compete with price indicators at the TTF hub in the Netherlands and at the German hub NCG. If these prices differ greatly, then Gazprom will either have to settle these prices itself or in court, so that they are approximately the same, and so that everyone is satisfied with this matter, both the supplier and the consumer.

Sergey Nikitin: How can prices on the hub differ greatly from those of Gazprom?

Ekaterina Orlova: These are two different pricing principles.

Sergey Nikitin: Yes, I understand, but nevertheless. What will happen? Well, will the price of oil grow fantastically, and for Gazprom, since it is tied to the petroleum product basket, the price of gas will also fantastically rise, but at the same time it will not grow fantastically on the hubs?

Ekaterina Orlova: She will also grow, yes. Maybe it will not grow fantastically, but it will continue the oil price trend.

Sergey Nikitin: I’m trying to understand whether there are concerns here or not.Will there be a big difference between that price and the Gazprom price? Or, if you sit down and discuss without a fever, and, first of all, tell Gazprom for yourself, listen, there won’t be much difference, perhaps we can go for it? That is, to what extent is this a compromise option? How painful is it for Gazprom? Looks like no.

Ekaterina Orlova: Yes, this is not painful, because if we talk in general about gas prices at hubs and the price of oil, then there is no direct correlation between them.But there is a market and there is a trend. If oil prices go up, then prices on gas hubs go up as well. The trends between them are exactly the same. Accordingly, the price that is calculated in a long-term contract for oil product indexation, in general, it can be very similar to the price that is calculated with exchange indexation. But from the fact that the European Union wants to become a market economy, when the price of gas and not only gas will depend not only on one indicator, but on a variety of indicators, here, of course, it is more convenient and comfortable to choose the exchange, that now they are and do.

Gazprom, in fact, will not lose much. Even if the price differs from the oil peg, they will push up these prices to match what is currently on the market, modern prices on the European gas market. Do not forget that oil product price indexation is taken with a lag of 6-9 months, and prices at hubs are formed here and now. What the European side wants is to be in a trend, to be in the price movement that is happening right now.

Sergey Nikitin: Okay.Fourth?

Ekaterina Orlova: The fourth point is that Gazprom should simply reduce its dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe. He should help this region to expand, in the construction of a new gas transmission system. That is, in every possible way to reduce their dominance.

Sergey Nikitin: Are there any criteria?

Ekaterina Orlova: There are no specific criteria here, of course. Because these are such general points.But the European Commission and the European side itself say that this will not only be a commitment by Gazprom to expand its gas transportation system, but it will be a joint undertaking. Europe will definitely invest in the construction of a gas transmission system, which will make it possible for new gas suppliers to enter the Central and Eastern European market.

Why did Gazprom become the dominant supplier there? Because the entire gas transmission system of Central and Eastern Europe was built during international cooperation, during the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, when the gas pipeline from the Soviet Union to the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance was built according to the logic of “one market – one pipe”.And no additional capacity was expected. Diversification was simply not needed at that time.

Sergey Nikitin: Yes, this story is clear. Let’s just go by management criteria now. The first point and the second point are gas resale and swaps, it is clear how they are regulated. This, probably, really can be considered in court. The third point is the price, and here it is also, in general, understandable. But the fourth point makes me wildly want to tell Gazprom, build a pipe in Poland.He will say I will not. Oh, you violated the fourth point, give us ten percent. Good deeds know where the road is paved. If some conditions are not legally formalized, then it seems to me that Gazprom will now be deprived of 10% with enviable regularity.

Ekaterina Orlova: I think that some things are simply not revealed to us.

Sergey Nikitin: I hope so.

Ekaterina Orlova: There is open information, there is also closed information.I think that specific conditions are clearly spelled out for the management of Gazprom, to which it should correspond. Because we’re talking about declining dominance here. This is not only the construction of gas pipelines.

Take Poland. They already have an LNG terminal. This suggests that Gazprom, in principle, should not prevent Poles from buying gas from the LNG terminal, which comes there from some supplier. Another question is whether Poland will buy this gas there if it is more expensive than Gazprom’s gas.There is such a relationship between all these market participants that they will simply agree. And if they agree, then, accordingly, there will be no violation on the part of Gazprom. Poland will come and say, we will buy Gazprom’s gas, because it is simply cheaper.

Sergey Nikitin: Good. Look, here’s a more general question. How are all negotiations going? What conferences? Who is involved? Meetings in the European Union, meetings in Russia.How dense is this tangle of communication? Politicians, or only Gazprom, or only industry experts, who is involved in this matter?

Ekaterina Orlova: Everyone is involved in this business. Meetings are especially frequent in Brussels. Everyone meets, and representatives of the European Commission, and representatives of Gazprom at various levels, and ordinary specialists, and very big bosses of Gazprom. Negotiations are always taking place, constantly. And with regard to the Ukrainian issue, negotiations are ongoing.There is no such thing that someone sat down there, decided something at home and provided this material. First, people speak, and then decisions are made on the basis of this.

Sergei Nikitin: Listen, but you, as a permanent participant in some of these events, what do you feel, do you have a desire to negotiate on both sides, or one side looks more arrogant, and the other is trying to defend itself, or vice versa? Is there a business process?

Ekaterina Orlova: Yes, of course there is.Because everyone is now interested, and Gazprom is interested in keeping the share of Russian gas in the European market, and the European Union is also interested in receiving reliable supplies from Gazprom. This is a normal two-way relationship. Sometimes there are tripartite negotiations. And this happens online, and the whole thing is lively and understandable for everyone. You just need to understand that now the entire gas industry, Russian and European, is in motion, in an energy movement, because at present in Europe there is a huge emphasis on renewable energy sources.Programs are being written for 2020, 2030, 2050. And if by 2030 there will still be a new window for gas, new opportunities, because Europe is currently refusing coal generation, from generating electricity from coal, because this is one of the most dirty energy sources, then after 2050 it will even decrease. Europe already plans to use mostly renewable energy sources by this time. And for this, right now, until 2030, it is important for everyone, both buyers and gas producers, to agree on how they will interact so that everyone will benefit, because it is not clear what will happen next with the gas sector in the European Union, and how we will feel after 2050.And Russia, Gazprom, this strategy must always be drawn and understood, and what will happen next, how we should proceed, where to invest and what to invest in.

Sergey Nikitin: Good. Sanctions. Nord Stream. American sanctions are mainly imposed on Russia. How is this evaluated within the gas crowd?

Ekaterina Orlova: The sanctions are serious. Well, I’ll tell you from my side. If we talk about the construction of Nord Stream 2, then here, firstly, you need to understand that those companies that provided loans to Gazprom for the construction of Nord Stream 2 are currently in an incomprehensible state, therefore that the sanctions partially apply to these companies.One of them, Juniper Research, said that if we are really threatened with sanctions, we will withdraw from the project. This only suggests that, despite all the sanctions, the gas pipeline will be built, and currently construction is underway on this project. It’s just that Gazprom will have to take on more obligations if one of the parties withdraws from the project. Although the money has already been provided, not in full, by these European companies, the money has been partially provided and, in fact, no problems should arise further.

Sergei Nikitin: Don’t you know, quite by accident, in the contracts as it is written, if someone leaves the partnership, you can not give him the money?

Ekaterina Orlova: I don’t know this. Unlikely. These are credit funds. They are not companies that are members of the Nord Stream 2 consortium. Accordingly, these financial loans will have to be given back somehow. Another question is how they will have to be given.

In any case, there were many questions around the Nord Stream 2 project.All countries that had to give permission gave it, except for Denmark, in whose territorial waters a part of the gas pipeline was supposed to pass. After that, Gazprom decided to run the route through the exclusive economic zone. But here Denmark can no longer resist, because according to the UN convention, construction in this zone is free.

Sergey Nikitin: Denmark is probably offended. Doesn’t want to take a small piece.

Ekaterina Orlova: She was probably not given something, not given something, some kind of gift.Gazprom quickly enough decided to rebuild and shift this route. After that, body movements from Sweden began. Although they gave permission to lay in the exclusive economic zone, and generally cannot interfere, Sweden said that they need to block this project, that it does not meet their energy security, that something needs to be done.

But in the end, everything calmed down, and now everything is going on as usual, despite the indignation from the countries and the same sanctions.

Sergey Nikitin: Listen, if you recall the situation with Ukraine you mentioned, tell us what is actually happening. Either Gazprom owes 3 billion, then Gazprom owes 2 billion Or vice versa. What’s happening?

Ekaterina Orlova: The dispute between Ukraine and Gazprom was settled. In accordance with the decision of the Stockholm court, Gazprom owes funds to Naftogaz for the undelivered transit volumes of gas. And to Naftogaz, in view of the fact that Gazprom owed more and Naftogaz less, accordingly, Gazprom owed it.

But the important point here is that this can be reflected on the European side, that Europe can take over something. In the latest court decision, the “take or pay” clause under the long-term contract for the supply of gas to Ukraine was significantly reduced from the standard 80% to 10%. And this suggests that in the dispute between Naftogaz and Gazprom, it was precisely on this “take or pay” condition that Stockholm met Naftogaz halfway. And all companies that operate in Europe, in fact, can also go to court and do the same.And all these obligations of Gazprom, which are signed in the contract with Gazprom, are 80% of the obligatory paid, and 20% can go to the next year, they can simply come to naught and go down to a minimum. This, of course, poses a threat to Gazprom, because Gazprom will not know the exact volumes, how much and where to deliver.

Sergey Nikitin: Yes, the situation is clear. Do you know what Gazprom is planning in this regard? How will you defend yourself?

Ekaterina Orlova: Of course, Gazprom will try, make efforts, so that there are no more such examples.

Sergey Nikitin: You correctly said that if there was one example, then there may be another. I’ll tell you who will go right away. They will be Poles and Balts. Do not go to the fortuneteller. Indeed, such a little nightmare.

Ekaterina Orlova: Yes, this is a big threat. But for this, Gazprom will defend itself. I think Gazprom has specialists, lawyers, there are great opportunities to defend oneself, to defend one’s positions, to prove why the “take and / or pay” condition is so important.

Sergey Nikitin: We have been explaining this for many years, and it already lives in us, that, yes, we cannot extract, we cannot freeze the deposits, we must strictly control.

Ekaterina Orlova: We must always have clear financial flows in order to understand where we go next. We also need to service our pipes.

Sergey Nikitin: Our interests, do Europeans really care about them? They crush us beautifully. Perfectly competently.As we spoke with you that time. Like a fighting dog squeezes, squeezes, squeezes, until it completely strangles. Will they drive Gazprom to the point where it simply says I will not supply you or will only supply it at the price that suits me?

Ekaterina Orlova: No, I do not think that they will bring Gazprom to the point that I will not supply any more, and I was offended. I think that everything will continue as well, just real negotiations between the parties will take place, which is what the European Union is trying to achieve.So that there are constant negotiations, so that everything is clean, transparent, pricing is transparent. And after that, of course, everything will be fine. When they understand our logic, that we provide all our data, everything is transparent, and accordingly, they will treat us well. Even now they treat us well, it is just that sometimes we need to accommodate such a large gas supplier, but we need to accommodate the buyer.

Sergei Nikitin: The last time I took part in such negotiations in Berlin was several years ago, and now I cannot say, but that they treat us well, I have doubts.They may have a good attitude towards us, but as soon as it comes to business, they have a very good attitude to the position of the strong, to the crushing of this story. It is interesting, and this is not so much a question as thinking aloud, what really strong steps and responses can Gazprom take to this story? When there is pressure from all sides, and the Stockholm court, a la independent, but it is clear, at least from the way it conducts its sessions and makes decisions, that, in general, it cannot be said that it considered those , and other parties.In my opinion, in my opinion, the bias is obvious. Whether we brought them to this point or not, this is probably the second question. And the political component plays here more than the economic one. But the situation seems to be again, shall we say, not stable. I just wanted to say if the storm has settled, and when do we expect the next one? And he, it seems, has already approached, and with renewed vigor begins to hammer into our ship.

Ekaterina Orlova : You have to understand that Europe is just becoming a strong player now.They took the position that we are buyers and we will decide. And Russia, Gazprom is also a strong player. We are manufacturers, and we will also put forward some of our conditions. And here we cannot say that they are biased towards us. They are not biased. These are just moments that need to be trimmed now so that normal market relations develop between the parties.

Therefore, if we take, for example, the “quo Vadis” – a study that the European side prepared on how the European gas market should look like in the future, there they made a clear proposal to Gazprom that Gazprom should be divided according to ownership, as it is done in the European Union.But Gazprom, even in spite of all this, remains true to itself. It is a large vertically integrated gas company, a large giant that manages not only its supplies, not only some events, but all its risks. And he will remain that company.

These two big giants will now just negotiate. It may take longer. Perhaps this will happen in some kind of raised tones. But this will happen because it is already happening now.

Sergei Nikitin: You know what I noticed in you now? When you talk about the requirements of the European side, they are clearly demanding – to do this and that. When we talk about Gazprom’s position, you say, well, we cannot do that, we need long-term contracts, we have to extract. I don’t know, there’s no strength here.

Ekaterina Orlova : This is power, on the contrary. Because for Gazprom this is strength – a long-term contract.

Sergey Nikitin: For him, yes.

Ekaterina Orlova : Yes, and oil product indexation too. By their actions, despite the obligations that they will have to fulfill before the European Commission, they are trying to keep these long-term contracts in a standard form, in a traditional form. Because they consider it to be power. So they do it.

Sergey Nikitin: Listen, okay. In this war that is going on, can you name Gazprom’s victories over the past 2 or 3 years? What can be considered a victory for Gazprom.The victories of the Europeans are understandable, that gas can be resold, and everything that we have listed. And what are the victories for Gazprom?

Ekaterina Orlova : In this decision of the European Commission, I see a victory for Gazprom too. This is such, perhaps, a future, long-term victory. Because the company will start playing according to the market rules. She will begin to take root in this system, and understand what it is and what it is eaten with. This is also very important for Gazprom in order to develop and not stand still.As we said, yes, long-term contracts are important, they are power. But strength also lies in being a market player too. To understand how the market works, how European companies operate there, how to interact with them. They want a swap. We should try this swap. It is important. This is the future and the new strength of Gazprom.

Sergey Nikitin: Well, well, he will push this situation with a possible Ukrainian court and possible subsequent courts aside. Let’s say the relationship has returned to normal in a particular situation.Are we waiting for some more storms, or can we work more or less calmly? Where to expect an ambush?

Ekaterina Orlova : An attack can be expected, of course, from America, American gas. It can come to the European market, and it can squeeze out Russian gas in some area. I think there is a threat in this.

Sergey Nikitin: At what price can this happen?

Ekaterina Orlova : This can happen at a price of $ 200-250 per thousand.m³ of gas. Why isn’t this happening now? There are several factors for this.

First, long-term contracts are currently in force in Europe, and the gas market has been re-contracted, that is, the volume of gas that is being offered is much higher than what is consumed.

Secondly, most of the LNG receiving terminals are located in Southern Europe, and currently there is a very undeveloped gas transmission system. The total volume of LNG terminals, what they can receive, is about 200-250 billion cubic meters.m3 of gas per year, that is, in fact, they can completely replace Russian gas. If we compare our volumes with American volumes. But in the southern part of Europe, where the main terminals are located, the gas transportation system is not developed to such a level that it can deliver gas to the Center of Europe, and for this gas to spread further. There are no plans to build any large-scale gas transmission systems in Spain, Portugal, in conjunction with France.

But here comes a new topic – mini-LNG.Small plants for liquefied natural gas and further supply – I believe that this may just shoot in the future. And at some point, America will be able to safely supply some volumes of gas to Europe. It is possible that Russian volumes will decline, but this is not in the short term, but perhaps even more in the long term. This is one of the threats.

Sergey Nikitin: Ok, Katya. Thanks a lot!

Let us develop this tradition, where once a year we take stock of the European gas markets and what is going on there.Well, we wish our dear Russian company, Gazprom, to successfully defend both its own and our interests, but at the same time that everyone is happy, and the sheep are safe and the wolves are fed. Thanks!

Ekaterina Orlova : Thank you very much! And I think that we will help our excellent company overcome all obstacles.

Sergey Nikitin: Dear colleagues, thank you for being with us on the Neftyanka channel in the Energosreda program. Happily! Until next time! Goodbye!

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90,000 why Japan sharply reduced purchases of Russian oil and LNG at the beginning of the year – RT in Russian

In January, Japan reduced oil imports from Russia by more than 40%, but at the same time almost quadrupled purchases from the United States.Since the beginning of the year, the state also gives preference to American LNG. Experts believe that one of the reasons for the refusal from Russian hydrocarbons is the unchanging position of the Russian Federation in relation to the Kuril Islands. Analysts emphasize that the territorial dispute is very painful for the Asian country. It is noteworthy that the desire to follow the principle is more expensive for Japan itself. US oil and LNG prices remain among the highest on the world market.

Since the beginning of 2019, Japan has sharply reduced purchases of energy raw materials from Russia.So, in January, the country reduced the supply of Russian oil by 40.5% at once (to 450 thousand tons), and imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell by 7.6% (to 617 thousand tons) compared to the same period in 2018. of the year. Such data are provided by the Japanese customs administration.

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At the same time, according to the department’s statistics, the Asian country has significantly increased the import of American hydrocarbons. In the first month of 2019, oil imports from the United States increased by 328% (to 774 thousand tons), and LNG – by 36.1% (to 267 thousand tons).

As Igor Galaktionov, an expert on the stock market BCS Broker, explained in an interview with RT, in recent years the United States has been striving to expand its share in the Asian energy market. As a result, Japan, as one of Washington’s key economic partners, is trying to increase purchases of American LNG and oil.

At the same time, according to the expert, a noticeable reduction in imports of Russian energy raw materials may be due to the unchanged position of Russia in the territorial dispute.

“The territorial issue is extremely sensitive for Japan, therefore, the decrease in purchases from Russia may well be associated with an attempt to strengthen the negotiating position of Japan. I would like to note that in November, against the background of the perceived progress in the negotiations, the country also sharply increased the supply of Russian oil, ”explained Igor Galaktionov.

As a reminder, in September 2018, Vladimir Putin proposed to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to conclude a peace treaty between the two countries. According to the Russian president, such a step would facilitate the solution of problems that have existed over the past 70 years. According to Abe, an important strategic task is the development of joint economic activities of Russia and Japan in the Kuril Islands.

  • Reuters
  • © Alexander Nemenov

During the November meeting between Putin and Abe in Singapore, the leaders of the states agreed to conduct a dialogue in accordance with the 1956 declaration.In January 2019, the first talks were held between the diplomatic departments of both countries. Following the discussion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow does not intend to change its position on the territorial issue and the question of the sovereignty of the Kuril Islands is not being discussed. After another meeting between Putin and Abe on January 22, the positions of the parties on the issue of concluding a peace treaty also did not change.

Curiously, during the first three quarters of 2018, Japan mainly reduced imports of Russian oil.So, from January to September, the monthly volume of purchases of raw materials decreased from 757 thousand to 644 thousand tons.

At the same time, at the same time as the discussion of the peace treaty between the states began, the situation in the trade in energy resources began to change, and in November Japan purchased 937 thousand tons of oil from Russia. As a result, against the background of the uncertainty in the negotiations, imports began to decline again.

“Officially, Tokyo did not announce plans to cut oil supplies, and, as far as I know, during the negotiations, this position was not voiced either.At the same time, one can suspect that the current discussion is very painful for Japan – the country’s ruling elite had extremely high expectations from the last meeting between Putin and Abe. Therefore, it is possible that Japan can express its dissatisfaction in this way, “Alexei Maslov, head of the HSE School of Oriental Studies, explained to RT.

“Golden” gas

According to Alexey Maslov, in recent years Japan has been trying to reorient its raw material purchases to other markets and therefore is increasing imports from the United States.Meanwhile, the main sellers of oil for Tokyo today remain the countries of the Middle East. The states of the region account for 88% of all Japanese oil imports.

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World oil prices are hesitant to recover from a massive drawdown since early October. In just a month a barrel is a reference…

In 2018, Japan purchased a total of 175.9 million tons of energy raw materials, and the volume of purchased Middle Eastern oil amounted to 154.8 million tons. Such data are provided by the Japanese customs service. However, at the end of last year, imports of hydrocarbons from Arab countries decreased by 4.6% and continued to decline in January 2019.

According to experts, the negative dynamics could be associated with the complete refusal of Japan from Iranian oil due to US sanctions. At the same time, as Alexey Kalachev, an analyst at the Finam Group of Companies, explained, the Japanese have completely replaced all the lost volumes of Iranian energy raw materials with imports from Saudi Arabia.

“With the ability to choose between suppliers, Japan is guided by both economic and political benefits. In the current situation, there is a high probability that political motives are of the highest priority for the country, ”explained Igor Galaktionov.

At the same time, even under the conditions of political pressure, American oil and liquefied natural gas remain for Japan one of the most expensive in the world market.

“If we believe the data on LNG supplies from the States to Japan in recent years, the American fuel can be called“ gold ”.For example, back in January 2017, LNG imports from the United States in the amount of 211 thousand tons cost Japan an average of $ 645 per ton. For comparison: the cost of the same LNG, but from Angola, was about $ 337 per ton. At the same time, the average price of all imported liquefied natural gas at that time was about $ 386 per ton for Japan, “said Roman Blinov, head of the analytical department of the International Financial Center, in an interview with RT.

According to the latest statistics from the Japanese customs office, in January 2019, the average cost of LNG imported by the country was $ 574 per tonne.It is noteworthy that prices for energy raw materials from the United States and the Middle East exceed this figure. So, one ton of Middle Eastern LNG cost Japan $ 581, and American gas $ 613. At the same time, the Asian country bought Russian liquefied natural gas at $ 517 per ton.

  • Reuters
  • © Sergei Karpukhin

In turn, the cost of oil from the Russian Federation for Japan slightly exceeds the prices of the Middle East countries and the average market level.In January, the price for a ton of Russian energy raw materials for Tokyo was $ 395, for the Middle East – $ 385, and the average was close to $ 389. The American oil cost Tokyo $ 447 per ton.

Vladimir Putin met with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Yesterday Vladimir Putin met with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych at the Zavidovo residence near Tver. Communication took place “without ties.”

The presidents discussed gas, integration, and even airplanes.Vladimir Putin recalled the benefits that Ukraine’s integration into the Customs Union promises. Yanukovych did not argue. However, it is simply impossible to decide and enter there: domestic procedures will be required. In addition, this is not even an economic, but a political choice of Ukraine, the leaders concluded.

Vladimir Putin, as usual, began the part of the meeting, which is open to the press, with trade turnover: it fell from a little over $ 50 billion to $ 45 billion.

“Nevertheless, we have good projects in various fields, including high-tech ones, such as space and aircraft construction,” the Russian president said optimistically.“We are developing contacts in the energy sector, including nuclear energy.”

Thanking for the opportunity “to synchronize watches, because time is ticking,” Viktor Yanukovych lamented that “as always, there are accumulating issues that need to be made some adjustments,” and on some – to intensify joint actions. First of all, this applies to nuclear energy. “Such high-tech industries, in which orders for equipment are not fulfilled very quickly,” the Ukrainian leader added and proposed to speed up the construction of two nuclear power units.“We agreed on this,” he reminded Putin.

“It is also necessary to clarify in aircraft construction how we will build a policy in relation to our cooperation,” the President of Ukraine switched to another industry. “This is for those brands for which we have decided that we will do joint production of aircraft,” he explained. …Yanukovych did not hide other difficulties either: “As they say, who is the owner – the question is now also very deep. Because our factories want to see complete clarity on the An-70, and on the An-148, and on the An-124.”

Then the head of Ukraine briefly mentioned the interregional forum, which will be held in Nizhny Novgorod: he complained that the regions find a common language among themselves faster than they do with Putin. The Russian President did not mind.

Then Yanukovych smoothly moved on to the delicate topic of integration into the Customs Union.”Negative processes are developing on both sides, there are seizures, I am not happy about this. These are losses on both sides, hence the loss of trade,” he returned to the beginning of the conversation and immediately raised another painful issue for Moscow and Kiev – gas.

Yanukovych was going to Russia in December last year, but did not fly at the last moment. Moscow and Kiev explained this by the need to conduct additional expert consultations. Yesterday the President of Ukraine announced that the specialists had made deep progress in the negotiations and it was time to take stock.However, naturally, in the presence of journalists, he did not concretize anything, suddenly having mastered the language of images. “The weather is the same, both in Ukraine and in Russia,” Yanukovych said. “You have more sun, we have a little bit of sweeping. But we are very close … Much is clear what to do, how, the main thing is not to stand still . Now the world is changing very dynamically and we also need to keep up with these dynamics. ”

“We have no closed topics”, – Vladimir Putin returned to integration. He recalled that both Russian and Ukrainian experts calculated that if Ukraine joins the Customs Union, its GDP will grow from 1.5 to 6.5 percent – “depending on the depth of integration.”

“The more closely we work with Kazakhstan and Belarus, the more difficult it is for Ukraine to enter our markets with its traditional goods,” the Russian leader reacted with understanding to the concerns of his neighbors. “Starting from 2015, the movement of labor force will be limited from other countries, except for the Customs Union, – the President of the Russian Federation continued. – Today’s preferential procedure for the movement of labor will be retained only for the countries of the Customs Union. Ukraine “.

“The fact is that Ukraine is very far behind the Customs Union in terms of creating a regulatory framework, those provisions that are already in force,” Yanukovych admitted. a huge break, and as a result of this, to date, Ukraine has not joined practically any of the provisions of the Customs Union. ” “Today we are talking about the format of cooperation between Ukraine and the countries of the Customs Union,” he continued.- Naturally, there can be no such decision, we made a decision and entered. Here we are talking about a process that provides for domestic procedures, consideration of these provisions, and the very format of work with the Customs Union should be determined or determined at quadripartite negotiations. “However, Russia plays a key role in the CU, and therefore Kiev is now negotiating with Moscow, added he.

The process is still more political than economic, the Ukrainian leader admitted.This should be done by the governments of the two countries and it is necessary to start working with the interstate commission of the Customs Union, he added. And when Kiev begins to practically consider the documents, there will be clarity about the accession. “All these documents must go through domestic procedures, as they underwent domestic procedures in all three countries. This is what we are talking about,” he explained.

“In fact, the issue is now on the political plane – it is a political issue, this is a political choice of Ukraine itself.And we will certainly respect any choice, “concluded Vladimir Putin.

Meeting of Vladimir Putin with Viktor Yanukovych

90,000 The head of Naftogaz: Not all statements by Alexey Miller are correct in terms of facts | Nemtsov. Interview | DW

“Nemtsova.Interview” guest – Andrey Kobolev, head of the board of the Ukrainian national joint-stock oil and gas company Naftogaz of Ukraine. On the eve of his visit to Berlin, Kobolev gave an exclusive interview to Zhanna Nemtsova.On April 10, in the capital of Germany, a meeting was held between President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. One of the topics discussed was the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

Zhanna Nemtsova: The head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said that next year the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine could decrease 10 times. This is due to the commissioning of the Turkish Stream and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines. How would you comment on this?

Andrey Kobolev : There is nothing new in the statement. Three or four years ago, Deputy Miller, Mr Medvedev (Alexander Medvedev. – Ed.) said something like “rather the sun and moon will change places than we will continue to transit gas through Ukraine” (in fact : “Gazprom” will stop transit through Ukraine, even if the sun changes places with the moon “, June 2015. – Ed.) . That is, Russia wants to bypass Ukraine by any means. We understand that behind this project is partly geopolitical, partly military logics.Mr. Miller is overly optimistic about Gazprom’s ability to complete the projects mentioned.

-If Russia stops gas transit through Ukraine, how much damage will it cause to your country’s economy?

Approximately $ 3.5 billion. Somewhere 2-3 percent of GDP. It will be very painful.

– In your view, Putin’s Russia seeks to suppress Ukraine economically?

– At least economically, under a soft scenario.When tough, we are talking about hostilities.

– You are against the Nord Stream 2 project. Some experts say that the project is very beneficial for Germany, but threatens with losses for a number of countries, including Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia. Do you agree?

– At the first stage, the German economy will receive the cheapest gas in Europe in comparison with its neighbors. This will increase its competitiveness. Germany will become the main and only gas hub for Russian gas in Europe. Gazprom’s strategy now is to be the most profitable supplier.Therefore, in the short term, Germany will benefit from this.

Then will happen what Russia did for many years in the past. This is the so-called divide and conquer tactic. Putin will call Poland and say: “Do you want to get cheap gas like Germany gets? Its economy is more competitive than yours, and that is not very fair. If you want to get the same competitive advantage, let’s discuss other issues along the way.” Then he will call Slovakia, Hungary and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.So he will achieve a split. And by splitting the European Union, many geopolitical goals can be achieved. These gifts are never free.

– And what is the price?

– At the first stage, this will be a political price. Germany will lose the ability to appeal to the concept of solidarity. For example, on such an important topic as migrants. I heard from representatives of many Central European countries: “Germany asks us to follow the principle of solidarity on the issue of migrants, but when it comes to gas, then all principles are forgotten.”In addition, when the FRG becomes the main receiving point for gas, and there will be no more transit through Ukraine, Moscow will blackmail Berlin in the same way it is doing it with Kiev now – playing with gas supply interruptions.

Are there only political arguments against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline?

– There are also economic arguments. Gazprom is already in a dominant position. This pipeline will strengthen their dominance. Gazprom is known for abusing its dominant market position.For several years Ukraine was forced to pay the highest gas price among the Central European countries. If such dominance gets to the German market, at some point Moscow will charge Berlin for it.

German politicians, in particular Angela Merkel, do not understand this or are they pressured by the German business community, which is effectively lobbying for this project?

We are not sure who are the main lobbyists for this project in Germany, other than Mr Schroeder, who is a close ally of Mr Putin and receives large sums of money from him – this is a public fact.However, German politicians flatly refuse to discuss the political background of this initiative.

This project also weakens Berlin’s position on many issues. Let’s take a simple example: the United States – a country that Germany is asking for increased military support – is now asking the FRG a simple question: “Why are you asking us to help militarily, if you yourself, in fact, open the way through Ukraine to the EU for the Russian army, which is the main factor that makes you turn to us for help? “.These two factors don’t go well together.

When do you think they will be able to launch this project?

I hope this never happens.

Ukraine recently won two lawsuits against Gazprom, the last decision in favor of Naftogaz was issued at the end of February . Gazprom reacted emotionally. Why is the company challenging this decision?

– I got the impression that this reaction comes not from the Gazprom office, but from the Kremlin.I assume that it was Putin who emotionally perceived what happened in those two arbitration cases. During January and February, Gazprom was quite satisfied with the first decision. Then a decision was made on the transit, which says that Gazprom did not supply gas under the contract – which is true – and must pay compensation for this volume in the amount of $ 4.6 billion.

Gazprom has already appealed against this decision. Do you think they have a chance to get the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court overturned?

The appeal was pending.The losing party usually has to challenge the decision to show its shareholders that it has done the best it can. If you look at the statistics, there have been very few cases where arbitral awards have been overturned in the courts of appeal.

– One of Gazprom’s reactions was the decision not to resume direct gas supplies in March, they even returned the advance payment made by Naftogaz. Did you expect such action?

– We did not expect this behavior. During our negotiations with Gazprom, they assured that they would comply with the arbitration award.Mr. Medvedev personally promised that if an advance payment for gas is received, then “of course, we will supply gas.” The promise was broken, as were Gazprom’s contractual obligations and the arbitration award. By doing this, Gazprom inflicts enormous damage on itself, and it is not rational from the commercial point of view.

– You are negotiating with Gazprom and trying to find a way out of this situation, but so far they have not yielded results. Do you think direct gas supplies from Russia will become possible again?

We are in negotiations, I cannot disclose their details, they are confidential.But what Gazprom is offering is beyond the imagination of any person involved in the gas business.

– Russia accuses Ukraine of stealing Russian gas. Are these accusations well founded?

These statements are unwarranted. Gazprom and Russia are using a propaganda machine to promote false claims in European countries. Gas extraction by Ukraine is one such statement. We always ask Gazprom to provide any evidence of this.But they have never been able to do this. Their other false statement concerns the fact that the Ukrainian gas transportation system is outdated and unreliable. Our system is much more reliable than Gazprom’s. To improve our efficiency in terms of fuel consumption, investments are needed in the modernization of compressor stations. But in order to do this, we need to be sure that Gazprom plans to use our system in the future.

Full version of the interview:

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