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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gazprom says EU investment will prevent future cuts in gas deliveries

29 May, 2009 - MosNews - Gazprom urged Europe and Russia to work together to prevent another crisis over natural gas supplies via Ukraine as a Bulgarian delegation held talks on a new supply contract to avoid a repeat of January disruptions, Bloomberg reports. Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller discussed cooperation, including the South Stream pipeline project, with Bulgargaz AD head Dimitar Gogov at a Moscow meeting, state-run Gazprom said in an e-mailed statement late Thursday. Bulgaria, which gets all its gas from Russia, is seeking a direct contract with Gazprom after suffering disruptions in January as shipments to Europe from Russia were halted for two weeks amid a pricing dispute with Ukraine. Miller and Gogov discussed transit through Ukraine and that country’s network. “Another gas crisis in Ukraine can be avoided,” Miller said in the statement. “Russia and Europe should invest together to prevent it. There’s no time to lose.” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has cast doubt over Ukraine’s ability to pay more than $4 billion for 19.5 billion cubic meters of gas to be pumped into storage before this winter’s heating season. At a May 22 meeting with officials from the European Union, Medvedev proposed working together on a loan for Ukraine to help it meet payments. Gazprom’s production from October to March declined by 36.4 billion cubic meters to 261.5 billion cubic meters from the same period a year earlier, the company said in a separate statement Thursday. “The production decline was due to a drop in demand on domestic and foreign markets as a consequence of the global financial-economic crisis and unusually warm winter weather, as well as the forced stop to transit exports through Ukrainian territory,” the company said.

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