Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Russia eyes new Turkmenistan gas pact
03-25-2009 - Upstream OnLine - Russia and Turkmenistan will soon sign new agreements on natural gas production and transportation, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said today. "We studied in detail cooperation in the fuel and energy sector, including progress in the implementation of very important accords, such as the intergovernmental agreement on the Caspian pipeline, and other projects," Medvedev said after talks in Moscow with his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. Medvedev said in a RIA Novosti report that the countries were already working on the new agreements. "These documents will be finalised, and I expect we'll sign them in the near future," he said. The presidents gave their backing today to the idea of holding an international energy conference in the Turkmen capital in April. "The heads of state ... spoke in favor of holding an international conference in Ashgabat in April to discuss ways of ensuring the uninterrupted transportation of hydrocarbons to global markets," they said in a joint statement. Berdymukhammedov also invited the Russian leader to visit Turkmenistan. Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko told journalists today that Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko would soon head for Ashgabat to finalise an agreement on the East-West gas pipeline, to link northeastern Turkmen deposits with the Caspian gas pipeline. He said the Russian and Turkmen leaders would soon meet again to sign the deal. The construction of the Caspian gas pipeline is due to start this year, and will also involve Kazakhstan.