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Cablegate: Turkmen Gas to Russia to Resume in January

VZCZCXRO1615
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHAH #0018 0061135
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061135Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4017
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 6082
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3775
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3634
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4324
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1381
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 4260
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS ASHGABAT 000018

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN; EEB;
ENERGY FOR EKIMOFF/BURPOE/COHEN
COMMERCE FOR EHOUSE/DSTARKS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET PGOV EINV RS TX
SUBJECT: TURKMEN GAS TO RUSSIA TO RESUME IN JANUARY

REF: 09 ASHGABAT 1654

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (SBU) On December 31, 2009, several Russian media outlets cited
a Gazprom spokesman saying that Gazprom will resume imports of
Turkmen gas on January 9, 2010 at 10 a.m. Turkmengaz and Gazprom
agreed to resume gas supplies during President Medvedev's December
visit to Ashgabat (reftel). Gazprom originally announced that the
supplies would restart between January 1 and January 10. To date,
no information has been officially disclosed by Turkmen authorities
as to the price and volume of Turkmen gas deliveries to Russia, or
the exact date that gas supplies will resume.

3. (SBU) An official at the Turkmen Oil and Gas Ministry refused to
confirm the date gas exports to Russia would resume, but mentioned
that Turkmenistan's gas export facilities are ready for the
resumption of deliveries, adding that Turkmengaz is prepared to
re-start gas imports at any time. The official also mentioned that
most of the Russia-bound gas will originate from the Dowletabat gas
field, as was the case before the April pipeline explosion.
Although media reports continue to speculate that Russia plans to
purchase only 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen gas in 2010
(in 2008 Gazprom reportedly purchased 49 bcm), Gazprom and
Turkmengaz officials have stated that Russia has the option to
purchase up to 30 bcm of gas per year.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: The resumption of gas deliveries to Russia has
received scarce mention in Turkmen media. It is possible that the
price and/or volume are not as high as the Turkmen would like. At
the same time, both parties have left the door open for additional
volumes, should Russia see a need for more gas in 2010. END
COMMENT.

CURRAN

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