Turks resume gas imports

ANKARA (AP) – Turkey will resume purchasing Russian gas through the undersea Blue Stream pipeline on Friday, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said yesterday, as Turkish and Russian officials prepared to hold further talks about a dispute on the price and volume of gas supplies. Gas deliveries to Turkey through the $3.4 billion Blue Stream pipeline stopped earlier this year, with Turkey demanding lower price and volume. The country was obliged to resume gas purchases by August or face heavy penalties. Officials from Gazexport, the subsidiary of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, were scheduled to hold talks in Ankara today to try to resolve the dispute which could end in international arbitration, Energy Ministry officials said. The 446-kilometer (278-mile) Blue Stream is the world’s deepest undersea pipeline. Some 360 kilometers (215 miles) of the pipeline travel at a depth of 2,100 meters (7,000 feet) below the surface of the Black Sea. Turkey, which overestimated its future gas demands, is seeking to renegotiate an agreement to lower the price and volume. It is bound to buy gas from Gazprom by a «take or pay» contract, under which the customer must pay for the gas regardless of whether it wants it all.

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