Critics fear gas auction reform will lead to undesired result

Although bailout conditions are prompting major reforms in the country’s natural gas market, intended to open up the sector to competition and allow consumers to choose suppliers, objections are being raised by officials on details that could ultimately obstruct the plan’s degree of success.

Sector authorities are concerned that permitting the existing regional EPA supply companies to take part in gas auctions held by DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, which holds 51 percent stakes in these EPA companies, will ultimately maintain the corporation’s dominance in the gas market.

Allowing subsidiaries to take part in auctions staged by their parent companies amounts to a breach of fair market conditions, critics argue. The greater the gas quantities ordered by the EPA companies at the auctions, the lower the ability will be for other suppliers to gain steady footing in the market, the critics fear. Also, prices at the auctions may also be pushed up by the bidding EPA companies, increasing DEPA revenues, it is feared.