Direct deliveries of Turkmen gas to Ukraine require transit coordination with Russia

Direct deliveries of Turkmen gas to Ukraine require transit coordination with Russia

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 12 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Resumption of direct deliveries of Turkmen gas to Ukraine, suspended in 2006, requires coordination of its transit with Russia, according to the Ukrainian Eurobond prospectus referenced by the Ukrainian media.

"There is no direct gas supply to Ukraine from Turkmenistan since early 2006. Government does not expect resumption of such deliveries in 2013. Earlier, Turkmenistan confirmed availability of resources needed for provision of supplies to Ukraine. However, Turkmenistan's position is based on necessity of coordination of its transit with Russia," the document says.

Experts believe that the issue of energy cooperation will be one of the key issues during the state visit of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to Turkmenistan. His talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov are scheduled for February 13-14.

The primary interest of Ukraine in Turkmenistan is about its global reserves of natural gas, which according to Kiev may reach the Ukrainian market not through re-exports, but directly and on more favorable terms.

In turn, Ashgabat, which supplies gas to China, Iran and Russia, is interested in the speedy output of its energy to Europe.

At this stage, traditional route through Russia is operating below its capacities, and Trans-Caspian project that will pass through the territory of Azerbaijan is still under consideration.

Ukrainian officials have previously expressed their desire to directly purchase around five billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually. Kiev urged his opponents in Moscow that the agreement on CIS free trade zone contains an item that provides for equal access to transmission facilities of the CIS countries.

"Formally, Ukraine and Turkmenistan are ready for direct deliveries. Alongside, given that the main and the only transit-way passes through Russia, the question of direct supplies remains open in the medium term", the expert of the international financial organization, who wished to preserve his anonymity, said.

In December, it was reported that the Swiss Ostchem Gas Trading (which is registered by Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash) researches possibilities for supplies of Turkmen gas to Ukraine and is negotiating with suppliers, including from Turkmenistan, as well as the Russian Gazprom on transit to supply Ukraine with natural gas.

This was reported by "Kommersant-Ukraine ("Ъ")", citing its sources:

Within the CIS major suppliers of natural gas to the world markets are Russia and Turkmenistan. Russia has preferred to re-export Turkmen gas, including for the needs of Ukraine, via the Central Asia - Center (CAC) pipeline through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The CAC pipeline became the monopoly of the Russian Gazprom after the collapse of the USSR.

As it is known, in 2003, Gazprom signed the 25 year term agreement on the purchase of Turkmen gas with indication of large enough volumes. At the same time, under the influence of the global recession in 2010, Russia has reduced purchases in Turkmenistan to 10 billion cubic meters of gas, which is four times less than in previous years.

This was followed by Ashgabat announcing the surplus of marketable gas that may be acquired at the border, including the Turkmen-Uzbek, by any potential customer.

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