Turkmenistan postpones signing agreement on gas supply to Nabucco

German RWE Energy Group, which is a participant to the European Nabucco pipeline project, stated today that signing an agreement on gas supplies from Turkmenistan was postponed, Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, told reporters in a conference.

"As soon as the political framework has been created, Turkmenistan will be ready to sign a supply contract," Judisch said, Western media reported.

It was expected that the signing on deliveries of Turkmen gas will be achieved in the first half of 2010, was called the end of April. However, on the above mentioned date, receiving the heads of RWE in Ashgabat, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, highly appreciating the constructive approach of the company, only "expressed confidence in the successful building of mutually beneficial partnership."

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No expected agreement was signed, although the meeting was addressed by the Chairman of the Board of RWE AG Juergen Grossmann and Judisch, who today said expect that by the end of the year, an investment decision will be made on the Nabucco project.

Turkmenistan, which possesses the fourth largest natural gas reserves in the world, is a subject of special attention from the EU, seeking to diversify its sources of supply. Of all the projects planned within the Southern Corridor, in Brussels the priority is given to Nabucco, where Turkmenistan would play a role of one of the key suppliers.

RWE came to Turkmenistan in April 2009, signing a memorandum of long-term cooperation with the government. The document envisages exploration, the creation of gas transport infrastructure and studying the possibilities of transporting Turkmen gas to world markets.

Upon the logic of events, RWE could become a locomotive for the promotion of Turkmenistan to the Nabucco project, but the problem is the question of access to the European market. To do this, it needs to build a Trans-Caspian pipeline via Caspian, which is difficult due to the unresolved issue of the status of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
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