“Gazprom” accused “Turkmengaz” in breach of contract with Russia on gas supplies because of “serious violations”
Gazprom, at the beginning of this year terminated the contract of purchase and sale of gas from 1 January with the company “Turkmengaz”, and accused Ashgabat of a premeditated creation of conditions for the termination of the agreement. This is stated in the new Memorandum of Eurobonds of the Russian company, said the Agency “Interfax”.
“In January 2016 as a result of “serious breaches of contract state concern “Turkmengaz” we have notified “Turkmengaz” on termination of the contract and cessation of gas purchases in Turkmenistan”, – have explained in “Gazprom”, putting the blame in the failure of the contract on Turkmen side.
In early January of Turkmengaz reported that “Gazprom export” has informed the Turkmen side about the termination of reception of Turkmen natural gas. It is a precedent in the history of the monopoly, has always insisted on the inviolability of long-term agreements, but in dealing with Turkmenistan such tactics may be more effective than the dispute in international arbitration, mentioned earlier the sources of the newspaper “Kommersant”.
They note that the negotiations on the revision of the contract terms are for several years, but to no avail. In addition, such a step against completely dependent on gas exports of Turkmenistan may be associated not only with losses of “Gazprom” under the contract, but also with trying to convince Ashgabat to establish military cooperation with Moscow.
Until 2008 Russia was the main buyer of Turkmen natural gas. Then, Turkmenistan has supplied Moscow with 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The crisis has reduced these volumes to 10 billion cubic meters per year, and in 2015 – up to 4 billion cubic meters.
It is noteworthy that in 2009, when Gazprom proposed to revise the scope and cost of purchased gas and the Turkmen side did not agree, on the gas pipeline “Central Asia – Centre” accident (from the point of view of the contract is considered as force majeure) where the purchases stopped for nearly nine months. They resumed only since 2010, after Turkmenistan agreed to lower sales volumes and the revision of the price formula.
Last summer, Ashgabat announced Gazprom insolvent due to the fact that the Russian gas company since the beginning of 2015 have not paid debts of the state company “Turkmengaz” for supplied natural gas. The reason, according to the government of Turkmenistan, became sanctions against Russia and global economic crisis.
Earlier, the Deputy Director of the Institute of oil and gas of “Turkmengas” Annadurdy Muratgeldi called Gazprom “unstable partner”. Russia and its gas company assumed the obligation to invest in the construction in Turkmenistan of the Caspian gas pipeline and the gas pipeline “East – West”, however, has not been delivered. In addition, according to him, Gazprom has unreasonably reduced purchases of Turkmen gas.
In February last year, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Gazprom Alexander Medvedev announced that the company reduces the purchase of gas in Central Asia. In Turkmenistan, the purchase is reduced from 10 to 4 billion cubic meters.
Furthermore, Turkmenistan is one of the participants of the southern gas corridor through Turkey to Europe, for which on the bottom of Caspian sea it is planned to build the TRANS-Caspian pipeline that will connect Turkmenistan with Azerbaijan. On the southern gas corridor fuel from the Caspian States should be supplied to Europe bypassing Russia. This project is hampered by the lack of agreement on the legal status of the Caspian sea.