Ankara wants better prices from Gazprom

Sept. 30, 2011 at 7:51 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Ankara might not renew its contract with Russian gas company Gazprom if demands for lower prices aren't meant, the Turkish energy minister said.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said natural gas prices for Turkey are up 39 percent in the past two years. This, he was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying, was why his ministry wanted to revise "all" of its contracts.

Yildiz said the contract with Gazprom might be in jeopardy if the Russian gas monopoly doesn't lower natural gas prices for his country.

"If Russia does not respond to our demand sufficiently, we will take the initiative to put an end to the contract," he said.

Gazprom responded by saying its contract was with state-owned Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corp. and not the energy ministry.

Gazprom delivers about 636 billion cubic feet of natural gas each year to Turkey, making the country Russia's third-largest export market.

Ankara aims to position itself as a regional energy hub. The route for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline is slated for Turkish territory.

Nabucco is included in a network of energy transit networks dubbed the Southern Corridor. The project is seen by the European Union as a way to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.

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