Russia to start regular purchase of Turkmenistan's Gas

Since 2005 Russia will start regular purchases of Turkmenistan's gas of 10 billion cubic meters annually, and since 2008 - of 20 billion, said Russian energy minister Igor Yusufov on Thursday after meeting Turkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov. In 2003-2004 gas will be purchased "on the residual principle", to the extent the existing pipeline's capacity allows after Turkmenistan has fulfilled its obligations on supplies to Ukraine and on contracts with the Itera company.

First of all, it is necessary to examine the condition of the pipeline going from Turkmenistan to Russia via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, that has been exploited for a long time, and then to repair it and start increasing its capacity, Yusufov believes.

The minister also announced Russia's intention to take part in exploring hydrocarbon deposits in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea shelf.

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