Just one week ago, Gazprom signed a 5-year contract with Turkmenistan to purchase up to 5.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, and the media, mainly Russian, started to ask experts why it happened?
When someone buys something from someone, the first thing that comes to mind is that the buyer needs it. However, the expert community does not satisfy with such a simple answer, as they are looking for something behind. They put forward some ideas, with quite interesting and fairly reasonable ones among.
For example, some experts believe that Gazprom really needs Turkmen gas, since the Nord Stream 2 pipeline scheduled to be launched soon. ORIENT has already reported citing to Russian experts that, according to the new European rules, half of the capacity of the new gas pipeline should be from independent gas suppliers. And in this situation, Turkmen gas can be in demand highly, as it would help Gazprom bypass these European antimonopoly restrictions. It could be so, and we do not argue.
While other experts believe, that Gazprom buys Turkmen gas to reduce its exports to China!
But for what?
According to experts, it is done to improve the negotiating position of Gazprom with Chinese partners on the price of Russian gas. That, they say, export of Turkmen gas to the Celestial Empire is not growing (as we started buying it), so buy the Russian gas, though it would be a bit expensive. To be honest, it’s inconceivable that that the Chinese can be tricked this way, but there is some logic, this opinion we can put into consideration, while with some assumptions. And so on.
REX news agency informs on another interesting explanation why Gazprom signed a 5-year contract to purchase Turkmen gas. “Obviously, in response, Gazprom intends to join the third stage of development of the giant Galkynysh gas field of Turkmenistan, which reserves, according to forecast data, exceed 20 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. If this happens, it will be a great success for Gazprom,” the agency writes.
Well firstly, let us make some small remark. An independent audit of British company showed that the reserves of the Galkynysh field, to date, are estimated at 26.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. And here we are not arguing with the agency, it is right, that there is so much gas, so 6 trillion more or 6 trillion less, it does not matter. It is referred just to be accurate with data. However, we would definitely agree with REX agency with one thing. It would be a really great success for Gazprom if the Russian company gets access to Galkynysh gas field.
And probably both for Gazprom and Turkmen side. Business reputation and technical capabilities of the Russian gas giant are well known in the world. At present tine, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is operating at this gas field. Also a major gas corporation. In other words, at the Galkynysh gas field, there is an opportunity to show yourself up, as well as to see how other companies work.
As to the rest – why Gazprom does something one way or other, Gazprom itself knows it.