Russia's giant natural gas company, Gazprom, has proposed developing a network of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations for automobiles across Europe. Currently, most Central European countries get natural gas from Russia via continental pipelines. What Gazprom says now is that they and their partners could expand the use of that existing network, or even make it bigger, in order to feed CNG stations for CNG cars. Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller said that "there is no real alternative for the use of hydrocarbons at present or in the next decades," and stated that biofuels weren't a good solution because they increase food prices. Miller also said that natural gas costs half the price of oil and that Gazprom had plenty of it. Check the full press release after the jump. Thanks to John for the tip.

[Source: Gazprom]

PRESS RELEASE:

Russia's Gazprom proposes CNG filling station network for Europe

Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom would like to develop a network of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations for automobiles across Europe, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Friday.

"I would like to announce Gazprom's new initiative. We are offering our European partners to consider together a project to set up an extensive network of natural gas filling stations in Europe with Gazprom's participation," Miller, who is also deputy chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, told the company's annual shareholder meeting in Moscow.

Miller said CNG could be a substitute for traditional motor fuels, prices for which continue to surge to record highs.

There is no any real alternative for the use of hydrocarbons at present or in the next decades," Miller said, adding that "an attempt to replace motor fuel with biofuels has lead to a threat of the global food crisis."

"At the same time, gas as a replacement for gasoline and diesel, especially taking into account prices for traditional fuels, is a real alternative," he said.


Discussion:

If you look at natural gas prices you can see why Gazpro are doing this – in the UK, to but natural gas today costs 60 p/therm, oil costs $140/bbl. Gas is less than half the price of oil in energy terms, it has never been so relatively cheap. Never ever.

Gazprom sell gas, they have a lot of it, they have huge financial resources, why not move into the transport market to keep demand up (demand for gas to make electricity will fall in long term as wind turbines and nuclear come on stream).

Now that the major EU OEMs like VW (new CNG Passat) and MB (new B Class) are launching new high performance high spec NGVs (as opposed to first generation which were basically petrol conversions) the market is set to grow dramatically. 25% lower CO2 than petrol, half price fuel, next to zero NOX and Particulates. Hard to beat that. In India there have been announcements re launches of right hand drive NGVs by Toyota, Mercedes, Fiat, Proton, Hyundai and GM in the last month or so. The NGV market is incredibly dynamic at the moment, copuple with hybrid and you can have a Mondeo sized car at 90 g/km!!!


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