By Eric Yep
DAEGU, South Korea--OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) and China National Petroleum Corp. or CNPC, are engaged in final talks over a gas supply deal and are expected to reach a final agreement by the end of this year, Russia's minister of energy said Wednesday.
A final agreement would be a milestone for Russia in accessing Asian energy markets as it diversifies its energy sales from Europe, where the country has faced pricing pressures.
State-run Gazprom has already signed some initial agreements for supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas a year to CNPC, but a final agreement is pending. Last month, Gazprom said the two sides had agreed on the route, the level of guaranteed volumes CNPC must pay for, and the speed at which supplies will be ramped up.
Active energy cooperation between China and Russia is seeing breakthroughs, said Alexander Novak through an interpreter on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress.
He said Russia is also working on the gradual liberalization of exports of liquefied natural gas and a draft law is expected to come into effect by January 1 next year.
Russia's plans to liberalize LNG exports will break the monopoly of Gazprom and allow other Russian companies to tap global markets as the country shifts focus to Asia.
Russia is also making progress in another key oil-related project--the construction of a joint venture refinery in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, where there will be an obligation to supply between 3 million metric tons to 9 million tons of crude oil a year, Mr. Novak said.
Write to Eric Yep at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 16, 2013 09:09 ET (13:09 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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