In October of this year, CEO of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, began to lobby for the division of Russian gas giant Gazprom. The Head of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Department, Igor Artemev, said that although the impetus came from Rosneft’s Sechin, it had been a subject of serious discussion for a decade, according to Tass. The proposed split in Gazprom will divide the company into transport and production units and is ultimately going to be decided upon by a presidential commission. The debate over the division of Gazprom stems from the issue of transparency – those advocating change argue that if Gazprom’s transport assets are separated from the rest of the company then it will become easier for smaller companies to gain a foothold in the complicated infrastructure that makes up the gas transportation sector in Russia.
More recently, Sechin has told Tass that the commission that has been organised to discuss Gazprom’s potential split has “addressed many of the issues” but the division “requires further discussion taking into account social duty, gas supplies for regions [and] municipal consumers.” Thus, Gazprom is unlikely to be separated into different partitions in the coming months, but could still become a reality. Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said that no decisions have been made so far because the issue requires very careful consideration, he said that gas supply is a “socially important and major subject” which therefore requires significant long-term study before any proposal can become reality.