6. RUSSIA’S STATE-CONTROLLED GAS MONOPOLY GAZPROM TO SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE GAS IMPORTS FROM TURKMENISTAN


AP Worldstream, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, December 29, 2005

MOSCOW – Russia on Thursday agreed to significantly increase its imports of
natural gas from Turkmenistan in 2006, buying 30 billion cubic meters at
US$65 (A52) per 1,000 cubic meters, the state-controlled gas monopoly
Gazprom said in a statement.

The agreement was reached in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat by Turkmen
President Saparmurat Niyazov and Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller.

This year OAO Gazprom imported 19 billion cubic meters at US$44 (A35) from
the Central Asian nation. The deal was preceded by several rounds of tense
negotiations, because Gazprom was reluctant to accept the price hike. The
price and the amount of gas imports in 2007 will be determined in the second
half of 2006, the statement said.

Turkmenistan is the second-biggest gas producer, after Russia, among
ex-Soviet states and it currently supplies Russia, Ukraine and Iran. Russia
could meet its gas needs on its own, but cheap Turkmen supplies spare
Gazprom costly investments in natural gas field exploration and development
in Siberia. -30-

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