Ashgabat may suspend gas exports to Moscow
Turkmenistan could suspend natural gas exports to Russia in October if the two countries do not manage to secure a new gas export deal for late 2006 and 2007, Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry said in its official release after a meeting between Alexei Miller, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, and Saparmurat Niyazov, president of Turkmenistan.
"The Turkmenistani side reiterated it is prepared to sign an agreement on natural gas supplies in the second half of 2006 in the amount of 25 billion cubic meters at $100 per 1,000 cubic meters and for 50 bcm in 2007 at $100 per 1,000 cubic meters," the press release said.
Ashgabat wants to increase the prices of its gas supplies to Moscow to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, but Russia is pushing for a lower price.
It is doubtful Turkmenistan will cut gas supplies because Ashgabat does not have any other routes by which to export its gas, Georgy Shmal, president of the Russian Union of Oil & Gas Industrialists, was quoted as saying in Russian media reports.
Miller and Niyazov said the two sides share mutual obligations on an earlier agreement for supplies 30 bcm of Turkmen gas at $65 per 1,000 cubic meters this year, Gazprom said in a separate release on Thursday.
Turkmenistan is expected to supply the contracted total of 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Gazprom by October this year, Alexander Ryazanov, deputy CEO of Gazprom, said last week.
"By September, Turkmenistan will fulfill the agreement on exports of 30 bcm of gas at 65 U.S. dollars per thousand cubic meters in the first half of 2006," the release said. "Subsequently, the exports to Russia may be suspended due to the absence of a new agreement."
Russia's Gazprom eyes Libyan energy
Russian natural gas behemoth Gazprom secured a memorandum of understanding with Libyan energy chiefs to help develop the country's gas sector.
Gazprom held talks with Libyan officials this week to discuss Russia's interest in conducting joint operations in Libya's oil and gas sector and other countries in Northern Africa, according to local reports.
Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee, led a delegation in a visit to Libya to discuss bilateral energy cooperation.
The two sides discussed Gazprom's possible participation in developing Libya's gas infrastructure as well as production, transportation and processing projects.
Gazprom expects to continue consultations on cooperation issues again soon.
Libya is Africa's fourth-largest producer of natural gas after Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt with reserves amounting to some 1.49 trillion cubic meters.
With Gazprom's assistance, Libya hopes to develop its underdeveloped gas sector.
Russia's Rosneft inks deal to sell its gas to Gazprom
Russian state-owned oil major Rosneft has secured an agreement with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom to sell its gas, Rosneft's chief Sergei Bogdanchikov and Gazprom boss Alexei Miller told Russian television network NTV Thursday.
Under the agreement, Gazprom will transport the gas through its pipelines, the two chief executive officer said.
Rosneft, meanwhile, has repeatedly asked Gazprom for access to its gas pipelines since Gazprom owns most domestic gas pipelines in Russia and all export gas pipelines.
Eduard Tropin, CEO of Rosneft's subsidiary Rosneft-Purneftegaz, said Wednesday that Rosneft had asked Gazprom to allow it to supply gas from its deposits on the Yamal Peninsula via Gazprom's pipelines starting in 2012.
If Gazprom agrees, Rosneft-Purneftegaz will supply up to 30 billion cubic meters annually from its deposits on the peninsula through Gazprom's pipelines, Tropin said.
Thus far, Gazprom remains reluctant to grant access to other companies to its pipelines and to allow them to build pipelines of their own.
(Please send comments to AMihailescu@upi.com)