Gazprom warns Turkmenistan about prices

June 2, 2009 at 10:53 AM
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MOSCOW, June 2 (UPI) -- Turkmenistan must reduce its export prices or face isolation from the global energy market, Russian energy monopoly Gazprom warned.

Gazprom has told Turkmenistan that regional energy demand, notably in Ukraine and in Europe, has made profits for gas exports at current prices unrealistic, the Financial Times reports.

"Today there is nowhere to sell your gas at your price," said Gazprom deputy chief Valery Golubev. "Either review the price or the volume."

Gazprom in 2008 moved to outbid its Asian and European rivals by offering to buy gas from suppliers in Central Asia at higher prices. Turkmenistan, however, turned its back on Moscow following a pipeline explosion in April, which Ashgabat blamed on the Russian energy giant.

The row prompted Turkmenistan to court rival energy companies in an effort to move its gas supplies through alternative partners.

Turkmenistan has moved closer to China in an effort to receive financial support for domestic gas development. Meanwhile, German energy company RWE in May was invited to examine alternative gas export routes for Turkmenistan's gas resources.

RWE is one of the partners in the Nabucco pipeline consortium. European and Central Asian partners to the Nabucco pipeline signed a multilateral declaration in support of the project recently, though Turkmenistan did not sign on to the final agreement.

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