Shipments of Turkmen Investment Gas to Ukraine Could Increase

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- The shipment of Turkmen gas to Ukraine in payment for investment projects conducted by Ukrainian companies in Turkmenistan could increase by two billion cubic meters from 4.5 billion cubic meters, Chairman of Naftogaz Ukraine Alexei Ivchenko told reporters following talks between the presidents of the two countries in Ashgabat.

"We expect the increase will be about two billion cubic meters," he said.

Turkmenneftegaz head Ilyas Chariyev will visit Ukraine soon and Ukraine will "conduct detailed and specific talks," he said. Ivchenko said increasing the shipments of so-called investment gas would lower the cost of the contract. "The price after the increase in the investment component will be lower than it is now. I can't yet say how much lower. This will depend on the cost of work, services, and materials we provide in payment for this investment gas," he said.

Ukraine hopes that after Chariyev's visit it will be able to increase the share of payment for gas in goods. "This will also help us lower the price of gas that comes from Turkmenistan," he said.

Under the contract for 2005 Ukraine will buy 31.5 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas and pay for half in cash and half in products. Ukraine will receive another 4.5 billion cubic meters in payment for investment projects in Turkmenistan, which include compressor stations, a railroad and automobile bridge over the Amudarya River, a communications tunnel in Ashgabat, and other projects. The price for Turkmen gas until January was $44 per 1,000 cubic meters, but was increased in the new contract to $58 per 1,000 cubic meters.