Turkmenistan Resumes Flows to Russia (Update)
(Adds information on price in second para)
State-run Turkmengaz confirmed that Russian giant Gazprom resumed Turkmen gas intake on April 15, after up to two years' suspension.
NGW understands that the price that Gazprom pays will match what Azerbaijan's Socar pays: $110/'000 m³ at the Turkmenistan border. From there, it is Socar's responsibility to negotiate transit with Iran, which technically swaps imports of Turkmen gas for deliveries of its own gas to Azerbaijan, for which it charges 15% of the gas price. Gazprom will take its gas at a different border but for the same price.
Deliveries restarted based on a six-year agreement signed last month when Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller visited the Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov March 27-28.
Gazprom stopped Turkmen gas imports in January 2017, but in October 2018 announced that it was planning to restart, buying 3bn m3/yr from the beginning of 2019 – a fifth of what it was buying in the early 2010s, before the export pipeline exploded, allegedly owing to Russia's decision to close a valve.
Russia has already increased attempts to expand Turkmen projects and Gazprom is in negotiations to develop Turkmenistan's gas fields, but has declined to comment on those talks.
Russian state-owned savings bank Sberbank has also agreed to underpin part of the 1,814km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan India pipeline (Tapi), it said April 3, suggesting relations are warming up again after the Russian president Vladimir Putin visited the country last year.
Sberbank guarantees a $219mn loan from the Islamic Development Bank to the Chelyabinsk pipe plant (ChelPipe Group) which won the tender to supply linepipe for the Turkmen section of Tapi.