Ukraine Plans To Up Turkmen Gas Imports
Ukraine hopes to increase its imports of Turkmen natural gas to 60 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year and could sign an agreement later this year covering the gas sales, a Ukrainian energy official said on February 2nd.
An official from Ukrainian national oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny said that the two ex-Soviet states intended to sign a 10-year sales agreement.
He indicated that the pact would likely be signed during Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov’s visit to Kiev in May.
Turkmenistan had supplied Ukraine with 5 bcm of gas for $38 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2000 and is expected to supply an additional 30 bcm of gas this year at $40 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Turkmen government officials indicated that future gas deliveries to Kiev could be halted if it fails to make payments on current supplies.
Niyazov and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma had signed an agreement in October allowing Kiev to pay for Turkmen gas with manufactured goods, in addition to participating in construction and industrial projects in Turkmenistan.
Despite the planned long-term gas agreement with Ashgabat, energy-deficient Ukraine will likely meet with problems with Russia, whose pipeline network is used to transport Turkmen gas supplies.
Russian gas company Itera had on February 1st informed Kuchma by letter that it would be unable to cover transit costs due to growing debts of Ukrainian customers
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)