Reduction of gas purchases in Central Asia by Gazprom may be temporary – expert

Reduction of gas purchases in Central Asia by Gazprom may be temporary – expert

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Reduction of gas purchases by the Russian company Gazprom in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, scheduled for 2015, may be temporary, the analyst of the Russian investment company Finam Anatoly Vakulenko told Trend Feb. 3.

In the meantime, the released amounts of gas from Central Asia, in his opinion, may be partially redirected to China, where the supplies are already being implemented. In the long term prospective, other areas of supply such as to India through Afghanistan, Iran, as well as to Europe through Azerbaijan and Turkey are also possible.

"But they all suggest laying new pipelines, which is not easy under the conditions of instability in the region," said Vakulenko.

Earlier, RIA- Novosti news agency with reference to the deputy chairman of the company Alexander Medvedev said that Russian Gazprom plans to reduce the volume of Turkmen and Uzbek gas purchases nearly 10 billion cubic meters and replace these volumes with its own gas in 2015.

"Gazprom, thanks to investments to the mining complex and the transport sector requires no purchase of gas from abroad, regardless the source," Medvedev said, while speaking at an investor day in Hong Kong. "Gazprom has enough resources to meet the needs of the market of any region of the Russian Federation, as well as to ensure supplies of gas to our customers both in Europe and in the future, in Asia."

It is possible that the decision of Gazprom was also influenced by the fact that the consumption of Russian gas in Ukraine in 2014 decreased significantly and may continue to decline in 2015, given the economic problems in the country, according to Anatoly Vakulenko.

This decision could also have been influenced by the failure of the South Stream project and the possible deterioration of relations with European countries, according to the expert.

Gazprom may fear reducing supplies to Europe, for example, due to the tightening of sanctions or violation of transit through the territory of Ukraine," said Vakulenko.

At the same time, if the conflict over Ukraine and confrontation with Europe end, resumption of purchases by Gazprom in Central Asia for both Ukrainian and the European markets is possible, he said.

"It does not matter whether the gas will be supplied through Ukraine along the South Stream, if the project is revived, or along the Turkish stream that can be launched already in 2016," said the expert.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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