Gazprom, Azerbaijan discuss gas future

Bilateral ties between two gas giants is "positive," Russian side says.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  May 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, May 23 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said Friday it was upbeat about the potential to build stronger ties with its counterparts in Azerbaijan.

Alexei Miller, the chairman of the Russian energy company, met Friday in St. Petersburg with his counterpart at the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, Rovnag Abdullayev.

Gazprom said both sides paid "special attention" to gas purchases.

"The meeting participants were positive about the current cooperation between the two companies and confirmed their interest in strengthening the long-term partnership," the Russian company said in a Friday statement.

A 2010 contract between both parties called on Azerbaijan to deliver more than 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year, but Azerbaijan was short of that last total year.

In January, Russian oil company Transneft said it would suspend deliveries through the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline because Azerbaijan hadn't signed the necessary agreements for oil transit.

Azerbaijan is viewed by members of the European community as a source for alternate gas supplies. Russia meets about a quarter of European gas needs, though ongoing debt disputes with Ukraine, which transports most of that gas, has added a layer of risk to the region's energy sector.

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