MOSCOW Oct 23 Russia and Turkmenistan have
decided not to revive a mothballed Caspian gas pipeline as
demand for the fuel in Europe is yet to recover, Kommersant
business daily reported on Saturday.
Russia, China and the European Union are all vying for the
benevolence of Turkmenistan, holder of the world's
fourth-largest natural gas reserves, to secure a strong
foothold in the energy market.
Earlier this week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
visited Central Asia's largest gas producer but failed to
clinch any concrete deal, the paper said.
According to Kommersant, Igor Sechin, Russia's top energy
official, who was a part of the delegation, said it was decided
to further put off construction of the planned Caspian
Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan agreed to
build the link along the Caspian Sea coastal line that would
allow Moscow to keep regional gas flows under its control, but
its construction has yet to begin.
Europe's hopes for diversifying its supplies rest largely
on the planned Nabucco natural gas pipeline from the Caspian
Sea region to Europe bypassing Russia.
Russia is also harbouring another ambitious gas project,
South Stream, which is designed to bring gas on the Black Sea
bed to the south of Europe.
On Friday, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly
Berdymukhamedov said his country is eager to export more gas
via Russia, only months after a pricing row shut deliveries and
prompted the country to seek closer energy ties with China.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Sugita