Niyazov and Putin in Moscow on 23 January (AFP)
23 January 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov have vowed to expand cooperation in the energy sector.
During talks in Moscow today, Niyazov said Turkmenistan would cooperate with Russia in implementing "major energy projects," including joint gas deliveries and the development of gas fields.
Putin welcomed such proposals. "At the end of last year [we] signed an agreement on supplies of energy resources with Turkmenistan," he said. "I resolutely support your proposals to broaden our cooperation both in transport and production [of gas and oil]."
Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom announced on 29 December that it concluded a deal to buy gas from Turkmenistan at $65 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Turkmenistan is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the former Soviet Union, after Russia.
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- Ukraine consumes 70 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year. It produces 20 bcm of its own gas, has a signed contract to import 40 bcm from Turkmenistan, and in 2005 was getting 29 bcm from Russia as payment for transit of Russian gas.
- Ukraine sells some 7 bcm of gas a year to the West and places some in underground storage facilities. These facilities can hold 34.5 bcm.
Ukraine is the sixth-largest consumer of gas
in the world and uses more gas than Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia combined.
- Russia has proven gas reserves of 47 trillion cubic meters (tcm) -- the largest in the world ahead of Iran and Qatar.
Russia sells approximately 160 bcm to Europe each year.
By 2015, Europe is expected to import 300 bcm, or 40 percent of its projected needs from Russia.
Russia's Gazprom is the world's largest gas company.
It is the only company allowed by Russian law to export gas outside the borders of the CIS. It also owns the gas-transportation system and most of the gas fields in Russia.
The Russian state is Gazprom's majority shareholder
, with a 51 percent share. The company's ownership rights changed as of the beginning of 2006, with Gazprom stock being sold on the open market. The Russian state, however, will continue to hold the majority stake.