Putin Talks Energy - Figure it Out on Your Own! Don’t Drag Russia Into Your Internal Pricing Schemes
— Mr. President… The US President is trying so actively to manage the price of oil. He is also very concerned about the gas prices. A gallon of gas costs about 3 dollars in the USA. Thus, they punish the ruling party. Do you think they are doing the right thing or do they need to step out of it a bit get their hands off the energy market?
Vladimir Putin: I have already said that and I want to repeat it once again: we had a great meeting with the US President in Helsinki but if we discussed the topic we are speaking of right now, I would tell him that if you want to find the one responsible for the price increase, then you, Donald, should look into the mirror. It is true, right? We have just discussed the geopolitical factors of the rising price, they do exist and do play on the market. One better not interfere with… One better not interfere with the market processes, not to try to gain some competitive advantages, with the help of political instruments, and not to try to regulate the prices as it was in the Soviet Union. It means trouble. When we speak about our coordinated actions with the OPEC, basically, we don't use non-market instruments. We just balance the demand and supply on the market, that's it. That's how it is. Today, the rest is the geopolitical factors which affect the prices. About the natural gas prices: they are calculated assuming the oil prices. The oil prices are calculated on the market using the market method, while the cost of gas is tied to the oil prices. Just with a small time lag of about 5-6 months, the cost of gas fluctuates depending on the oil price. That's it.
So, what happens in the US… The US is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world. We know all that regards the modern technologies, against which the ecologists protest, and I agree with them: the oil extraction is often done in a barbaric way. We don't use such extraction methods. But that somebody tries to pressure the administration… I don't know about that, you understand? Let's talk about the energetics, don't drag me into the US domestic processes and squabbles. Deal with it yourself, or they'll say once again that we interfere into the US domestic life.
— Understandable. A small correction of the translation: when I spoke about the gas prices in the US, I also meant the gasoline prices. Gasoline. The NATO gas.
— You see, the end product price, including the oil products prices, is made up not only from the original crude oil price or the natural gas price if we speak about the gas fuel. The government policy also affects the end price for the consumer. And what about the fiscal part? How big is it? Why in some European countries, for example, the price for the Russian gas is doubled by the time it reaches the consumer? It's the country’s policy. So one shouldn't always blame the supplier of the energy resources. Figure it out yourself, which domestic economic policy you pursue, and what do you do in order that the necessary product would reach the consumer with an adequate price for the latter. That's it.
— «Total» is a huge energy investor. They have an about 5 billion dollar deal for co-developing the reserves with Iran. And now they drew their attention to the deals with other countries with which they could have dealt with despite the US sanctions. The EU is talking about those new initiatives but can one return to investing in Iran after that?
Patrick Pouyanne, President and CEO, Total: The answer is no. «Total» is a global company which operates in about 30 countries around the world. We can't just take this risk. We see that the EU tries to make some efforts but still, the answer is no. We are not ready for this.