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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkmenistan to Sign Deal On Gas Supplies for Russia

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan plans to sign a contract in the next few days to sell Russia 30 billion cubic meters of gas next year, President Saparmurat Niyazov said Friday.

A government official also said Turkmenistan had started shipping small amounts of gas to Iran through a new pipeline.

The Central Asian state has some of the largest gas reserves in the world but apart from its low-capacity links to Iran, it currently has no export options other than through Russia. It recently broke off deliveries through Russia following an argument over pricing but resumed them last year.

"We will agree to sell Russia 30 bcm. I think we’ll sign the contract next week," Niyazov told a meeting of diplomats shown on state television Friday.

Following the resumption of sales this year, Turkmenistan delivered Russia 20 bcm by the end of September at $36 per 1,000 cubic meters on the Turkmen-Uzbek border. A further 10 bcm were due to have been delivered by the end of the year at $38 per 1,000 cubic meters.

This year Turkmenistan will also sell Ukraine 5 bcm at $38 per 1,000 cubic meters, and this volume is due to rise to 30 bcm at $40 per 1,000 cubic meters next year.

Separately, a government official said that in the last few days Turkmenistan had started shipping 180,000 cubic meters per day to the northern border region of Iran through a new pipeline from Artyk, Turkmenistan.

Between January and October this year, Turkmenistan sold Iran a total of 1.8 bcm through an existing pipeline from the Turkmen gas field of Korpedzh to Kurt-Kui.

Talks are under way between the two governments to increase sales, with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami due to visit Ashgabat where he is expected to discuss gas contracts.