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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Miller to Go to Turkey to Mend Rift

ANKARA, Turkey -- Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller will visit Turkey on Thursday in an attempt to solve a dispute over the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline, a Turkish energy official said Monday.

Miller is expected to meet Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and the general manager of state pipeline concern Botas, Mehmet Bilgic, the official said. He gave no further details.

"Gazprom's CEO is planning to visit Turkey to meet the country's top officials and discuss a broad number of issues, including the Blue Stream pipeline," a Gazprom spokesman said.

Turkey and Gazprom threatened in late June to take each other to international court after failing to agree on prices and the volume of gas supplies pumped via Blue Stream beneath the Black Sea.

Turkey halted gas imports through the $3.5 billion pipeline in March on the grounds of weak domestic demand and asked for a revision of supplies and prices, which are cross-indexed with international oil prices.

Gazprom had wanted Turkey to resume imports by July 1, as stated in the contract, or face financial penalties. Turkey said it would restart its imports in August.

Under the deal, Turkey must import at least 0.8 billion cubic meters via the Blue Stream pipeline in 2003. The minimal price of the volumes is estimated at $80 million.

Turkey also buys around 14 bcm of gas per year via an inland pipeline from Russia running through Bulgaria and Romania.

Gazprom owns the pipeline jointly with Italy's ENI.