Economic Observer reporter Gao Ge Yang Qizhen?? The listing time of National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Company is approaching, but it seems that it is not as fast as imagined.
On August 7, an unnamed person familiar with the situation told the Economic Observer: The specific launch time needs to see whether the work of the preparatory group is going smoothly. It was originally scheduled to be listed in August, but after the first meeting of the preparatory group, it thought that this time point was relatively difficult and there were still difficulties to be solved, but at the latest it should not be. More than September.
From one of the three barrels of oil, people involved in pipeline business also said in the economic observation report that the company level has not yet received a clear timetable. However, according to the information they have, the seconded personnel of each unit have already entered the preparatory group.
It is understood that the personnel of the above preparatory group mainly come from China Petroleum and Natural Gas Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as PetroChina), China Petrochemical Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Sinopec) and China Ocean Petroleum Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as CNOOC), of which PetroChina occupies three seats, the remaining two are each. In addition to the two seats, the staff of the preparatory group also includes representatives from the government.
This discussion has gone through at least three rounds since 2017. People who have participated in the relevant work told the Economic Observer that the previous National Pipeline Network Research Group and the Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Operating Mechanism Working Group all adopted the composition of three barrels of oil for each secondment of 2-3 personnel plus the staff of the Development and Reform Commission. The new working group was set up to study the details of asset allocation. It needs to be studied one by one to find out which assets will go into national pipeline companies, such as gas storage or receiving stations.
According to the above-mentioned people, the reform opinions have clearly defined what kind of assets should be put in, but this is only a guideline in principle, involving specific operational details, such as how to evaluate assets, how to allocate personnel, and so on. It takes time. The relevant opinions were originally scheduled to be issued in May and were eventually postponed until June 26, but have not yet been made public.
Relevant personages told reporters: Fair opening of oil and gas pipeline network facilities and related information disclosure is one of the supporting documents for the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Company, which requires that it be issued before the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Company. In his opinion, it will take about a month to complete the above work.
It has been many years since the call is coming out
On June 13, 2014, at the 6th meeting of the Central Leading Group of Finance and Economics, General Secretary Xi Jinping clearly put forward the strategic idea of four revolutions and one cooperation for the development of energy security in China, namely: promoting the energy consumption revolution, curbing unreasonable energy consumption; promoting the energy supply revolution, establishing a multi-supply system; and promoting energy technology. Technological revolution, promote industrial upgrading; promote energy system revolution, open the fast lane of energy development; strengthen international cooperation in an all-round way to achieve energy security under open conditions.
Among them, the specific embodiment of energy system revolution is the reform of electric power system and oil and gas system. Subsequently, on March 15, 2015, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued Several Opinions on Further Deepening the Reform of the Electric Power System (Zhongzhong  No. 9) (hereinafter referred to as Article 9), while Some Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Petroleum and Natural Gas System by the State Council of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Zhong  No. 15 (hereinafter referred to as No. 15) was issued two years later than No. 9.
The aforementioned people who have participated in the relevant work recalled to the Economic Observer: The basic idea of oil and gas and power reform is tocontrol the middle and open the two ends. Power No. 9 was issued in 2015, while No. 15 of oil and gas reform was only issued in 2017, two years later than that of electricity reform, which has the problem of work arrangement. Relatively speaking, oil and gas reform will make the pipeline network more independent, but the process of back and forth sawing is also very difficult. Three barrels of oil have their own demands. Every word in the document, even punctuation marks, have spent a lot of time and energy.
He said: The establishment of the National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Company is not a flat building, but a part of the floors from several existing buildings, which is difficult to imagine, and the pipeline network assets for oil companies are relatively stable revenue business, coupled with a wide range of areas, so the corresponding resistance is also great.
By the end of 2017, PetroChina accounted for the largest proportion of domestic oil and gas pipelines, with the total mileage of domestic oil and gas pipelines reaching 85582 km. Among them, crude oil pipeline 20359 km, accounting for 68.9% of the country; natural gas pipeline 53834 km, accounting for 76.2% of the country; finished oil pipeline 11389 km, accounting for 43.2% of the country; followed by Sinopec, accounting for about 10% - 15% and CNOOC, mainly natural gas pipeline.
The above assets are also one of the core earnings sectors of the relevant listed companies. According to CNPC A-share listed company PetroChina (601857.SH) quarterly report in 2019, the operating profit of natural gas and pipeline sector business is 12.582 billion yuan, an increase of 12.5% over the same period of last year. The gas transmission volume of Kunlun Energy (00135.HK) natural gas pipeline business of its Hong Kong-share listed company in 2018 increased by nearly 30% to 52945 million cubic meters from the same period of last year. The current income is 9.706 billion yuan.
Overall, PetroChina suffers the greatest impact, because it covers 70% of the long-distance pipeline network, which accounts for a large proportion of the cash flow and profit sources of the enterprise. Even though there are stable equity returns in the later period, the profitability is still weakened. For CNOOC, the main problem concerns the fair opening of the receiving stations.
Unlisted influence prevails
Some people interviewed said that the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Company will undoubtedly produce aftershocks, and even in the case of relevant details have not landed, some effects have emerged. One of the most obvious is that the strong march of upstream enterprises into the downstream market has caused the shock of downstream enterprises.
In the mid-term report of 2018, Kunlun Energy said that after ten years of development, the strength of terminal utilization business has been growing steadily. Under the background of deepening the reform of the national oil and gas system, terminal utilization has become the key to CNPCs natural gas sales. CNPC is speeding up the construction of golden terminal for natural gas sales. u3002
Such a layout also attracts the downstream city gas enterprisesworries. On July 31, 2019, Li Yalan, executive director of China Urban Gas Association and chairman of Beijing Gas Group, said in public that upstream enterprises enter the downstream of the industry by means of resource-for-market and gas-for-equity swap, and compete for power plants, industries and other large users by means of direct supply from downstream urban gas enterprises.u201c Panic.
According to a person from one of the five major city gas companies, the three barrels of oil has the advantage of upstream exploration and development, and the penetration of urban gas means a comprehensive transformation of management mode. The latter has the characteristics of small, fast and flexible. Although it has the characteristics of small investment and quick effect, most of the local gas industry has the characteristics of small investment and quick effect. The profit of enterprises is on the low side, but the profit margin of the whole industry is not large.
But the three barrels of oil obviously do not see it that way. Above-mentioned insiders from the three barrels of oil told reporters: At present, downstream is a battle ground for military strategists. Although his company does not have an official statement, but upstream by resources, prices, facilities, market impact, profit is not high, the future midstream transport network, downstream gas distribution fees are higher, the real price to users is not low, so the establishment of a new gas order and pattern is an urgent problem to be solved. Only by reducing the profit margin of the terminal or allowing the terminal to assume more social responsibility can it benefit the people.
According to a market observer, The pipeline network is a natural monopoly link, and the upstream gas supply and downstream gas consumption are competitive business links. Since both upstream and downstream are competitive links, we should not interfere with upstream enterprisespenetration into downstream business. The city gas industry is fully competitive in a wide range, but a certain region is also monopolized. Open up the two ends, competition can be liberalized, so-called whole industry reform requires orderly two-way competition.
According to Bai Jun, vice president of Beijing Gas Group Research Institute, there are still some misunderstandings between upstream and downstream enterprises. Not all the downstream baboons are fragrant. The supervision of gas distribution fees is becoming more and more strict, and the reasonable rate of return of urban gas is not as high as that of long-distance pipeline network operation enterprises. Distributed downstream gas distribution market, small scale, complex user situation and inconsistent regulation may not be suitable for upstream enterprises which are good at large-scale, high investment and long-term operation. Perhaps upstream companies should be more aligned with international companies such as BP, Shell and Equinor to bring their upstream expertise into play and enhance their global competitiveness.
Can Market Concern Transit Smoothly
Reporters in the interview learned that compared with when the National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Corporation was founded, the industry is more concerned about what problems will be encountered in the actual operation level after the establishment of the new company, and how to transition?
To this end, the market observer told reporters: This is the international direction. There is an additional pipeline company between the gas source side and the gas-using enterprises. Now it will be more complicated, but it also means that many models will be derived, such as downstream enterprises talking directly with the gas source, and the pipeline transportation fee will be arranged by the other side; at the same time, it can be arranged by the other side. Talk with multiple gas sources to form a combination of resources and flexible arrangements. The aim of the reform is to restore consumersfreedom of choice, which will free up more choices.
Liu Manping, senior economist of the price monitoring center of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the Economic Observer: While seeing the benefits of establishing the National Pipeline Network Company, we should also see that, with the diversification of market players, the diversification of trading methods, the intensification of market competition, and the high dependence of the natural gas industry on the pipeline network and the people. Natural characteristics, after the establishment and operation of the national pipeline network company will also face some problems or challenges, which need to be paid attention to and seriously addressed.
The challenges he referred to mainly came from the pressure of pipeline network construction, the contradiction between supply and demand in natural gas market, the division of guarantee responsibility, the supervision of monopoly behavior of pipeline network companies, the relationship with provincial pipeline network companies, the inversion of imported gas and how to maintain the international competitiveness of existing state-owned oil state-owned enterprises.
Liu Manping pointed out that one of the problems in Chinas natural gas pricing mechanism is that the price of imported gas is inversely linked to the price of natural gas gate stations. As a result of the huge loss caused by the upside-down import price, it has always been digested or assumed by PetroChina. After the establishment of the State Pipeline Network Company, normally speaking, the import gas contract must still be on PetroChina, but this part of the loss is directly transferred to the State Pipeline Network Company or continue to be digested by PetroChina or subsidized financially at the national level, which needs to come up with solutions.
Therefore, in the view of many interviewees, the symbolic significance of the listing of the national pipeline network company is greater, and there is still a certain distance from the listing to the actual operation, which requires a certain period of running-in. After listing, it involves asset delivery, personnel integration, strategic positioning and corporate culture construction, etc. It should take 3 to 5 years to truly achieve mature operation. At present, everyones expectations are very high, waiting for the dust to settle down.