Turkmenistan seeks ban on Russian re-exports of gas

Turkmenistan, now negotiating with Russia’s OAO Gazprom, is seeking to ban the Russian firm from re-exporting the natural gas it purchases from the Central Asian nation.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21 -- Turkmenistan, now negotiating with Russia’s OAO Gazprom, is seeking to ban the Russian firm from re-exporting the natural gas it purchases from the Central Asian nation.

"The new contracts will include a clause banning re-export of gas," said Turkmenistan’s Deputy Premier Baimurad Khodzhmukhamedov at a conference in Ashgabat earlier this month.

Khodzhmukhamedov’s statements came ahead of this week’s meeting between Turkmenistan’s President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller aimed at resuming Russia’s import of Turkmen gas that were suspended in April after a pipeline blast.

Both sides have since said they expect gas supplies to resume before the end of October, but they are still negotiating the terms of an amended supply agreement.

Prior to the blast, Gazprom had been buying 50 billion cu m/year of Turkmen gas and re-exporting most of it to Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Ashgabat.

While Turkmenistan wants to include the re-export ban, Gazprom wants to reduce its purchases of Turkmen gas to 30 billion cu m/year and to establish a flexible pricing formula that will ensure prices are in line with the international gas market.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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