MOSCOW, (Reuters) - Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said on Friday, May 18, it would cease supplying Turkish companies that had payments problems and find solvent ones to maintain its exports volumes.
"The ones who do not have money, will not get gas. They will quickly be replaced by other consumers," Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev told a news conference.
Turkey's state oil and gas company, Botas, said last week it could not pay its bills for gas imports from Russia, Algeria and Nigeria.
Gazprom exports up to 16 billion cubic metres of gas annually to Turkey and is building the Blue Stream pipeline with a capacity of 16 bcm annual.
Vyakhirev said the main consumers of Blue Stream gas, scheduled to start flowing at the end of the first quarter of 2002, would be power stations built by foreign companies.
"They have other owners. If there is money to build them, there will be money to pay for gas," Vyakhirev said.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)