MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom hopes to supply China with natural gas, but is not planning to cooperate with Chinese firms in drilling, Gazprom Deputy Executive Director Vitaly Markelov said Tuesday.
“We’re not looking at that,” Markelov said in response to a question on drilling with Chinese companies.
Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky on Monday said that a contract on delivering gas to China was 98 percent ready and should be signed by President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Beijing on May 20.
Gazprom head Alexei Miller said at the beginning of March that the company plans on signing a 30-year contract for delivering gas to China. The annual delivery is expected at 38 billion cubic meters.
The tentative agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation has been delayed several times over pricing disagreements.
The project envisages the construction of a new Russian pipeline to China, the completion of which has been delayed by Gazprom to 2020 from 2018.
The two sides have been negotiating the issue for years, and consistently failing to agree on the price issue, while China has gone ahead with signing massive gas supply deals with other supplier nations including Australia, Qatar and Turkmenistan.
However, the current standoff between Russia and the EU over Crimea is likely to give an impetus to Moscow’s long-awaited deal on exporting up to 60 billion cubic meters of gas per year via the eastern route to China, the major market for Russian gas in the Asia-Pacific region.
CNPC also signed an agreement with state-owned Rosneft, the world’s largest listed oil producer, on the basic terms of prepaid crude oil supplies to China.