YEREVAN, February 12. /ARKA/. Even though Armenia’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan had been stating all year around the price for the imported natural gas remained the same--$180 per 1000 cubic meters, it actually rose to $232 in 2012, according to the article published Tuesday in Orakarg (Agenda) newspaper.
“The State Revenue Committee of Armenia has finally confirmed not only the fact the price for the Russian gas had increased in Armenia, but also the thing that in 2012 its cost was calculated not per annum, but quarterly,” the article implies.
Armenia was the only CIS member state to calculate the gas price per annum. For example, Ukraine and Moldova have already applied to quarterly accounting, the source informs.
Thus, Armenia paid $444 million per 1.91 billion cubic meters of gas at the Customs last year, State Revenue Committee (SCR) said in its report. Thereby, it turns out that the customs value of 1000 cubic meters of Russian gas is $232.4, the newspaper concludes.
The imported gas is imposed by tax not at the border, but at the domestic market. The statistics on the volume and cost of the imported gas is provided by ArmRosgazprom company and is reported by Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to the State Revenue Committee.
Referring to SRC, customs value of the imported gas to Armenia stood at $220 per 1000 cubic meters in the first half of 2012, $244—in the third quarter, $254—in the fourth quarter.
“Even though the statistics clearly demonstrates the hike in prices, the Armenian officials continue keeping this fact in secret. The “secrecy” is explained by the fact that the government had been subsidizing the gas price for domestic consumers taking into account the presidential elections. The executive branch will pay off the deficit between the purchasing value and gas tariffs by transferring nearly 15% out of its 20% stock in ArmRosgazprom to Gazprom company,” according to the article.
Possibly, the gas price rose in the first quarter of 2013 if we bear in mind that the price was $254 per 1000 cubic meters in the forth quarter of 2012.
“In these conditions, the change in gas tariffs for domestic consumers will be unavoidable. Even if the average price this year is the same as it was in the fourth quarter of 2012, the consumers will still have to pay 162 drams instead of the current 132 drams, and the major consumers--$313.13 against $243.13 per 1000 cubic meters.”
Earlier, Minister of Energy Armen Movsisyan stated the gas price in Armenia would be the best in the CIS.
ArmRosgazprom is the only company dealing with import and distribution of Russian natural gas coming to Armenia from Russia via Georgia. It was established in 1997. Its shareholders are Russia’s Gazprom (80%) and the government of Armenia (20%). -0-