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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Blamed for Blast

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry is blaming Gazprom for a gas pipeline explosion late Wednesday that cut supplies to Russia.

Gazprom's export arm "sharply cut" its intake of Turkmen gas Wednesday without giving the Turkmen side advance notice, causing the accident, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on the web site of the Turkmen Embassy in Moscow.

The ministry said the Gazprom unit's actions were "poorly conceived and irresponsible, as first of all it threatened people's health and lives." It also said the company's actions violated the terms of a sales contract between the two sides.

Earlier Thursday, Gazprom said in an e-mailed statement that an explosion on a gas pipeline in Turkmenistan cut supplies to Russia from the Central Asian country. Gazprom said supplies to clients would not be affected and that Turkmenistan was studying alternative pipes for shipments.

Gazprom has depended on suppliers including Turkmenistan to replace flagging production at older Siberian fields. Gazprom took 42 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan in 2008, a company official said Thursday, declining to be named in line with company policy.