MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) said Tuesday that the timeframe for exports to start from a giant Siberian natural-gas field depends on talks with gas importers, especially China.
The Kovykta gas deposit is of major importance to the Russian government, which is pursuing an ambitious project to build a gas pipeline network to meet the needs of some Asian nations, primarily energy-hungry China, and to diversify its export destinations.
"In the future, the Kovykta export potential will be tapped. This question is when," said Alexander Medvedev, a deputy chairman of Gazprom's management committee. "This depends not only on the position of the license holders and our position but also on talks with China."
Medvedev added that Gazprom had already agreed with China on the principles of purchasing gas from the Kovykta field, which has proven reserves of over 2 trillion cubic meters.
But he also said Gazprom would not make a final decision unless contract terms were agreed.
"A decision will not be made, until we see contract terms, including price conditions and volumes, on which prices will depend," Medvedev said.
The license to develop the Kovykta gas field is held by Rusia Petroleum, whose stakeholders are TNK-BP (64.4%), Interros (25.82%), and the Irkutsk regional administration (11.24%).
Gazprom was appointed in 2001 to coordinate all gas projects in East Siberia and Russia's Far East.