April 7, 2011 / 10:14 AM / in 7 years

Russia, China narrow price gap in gas talks-source

MOSCOW, April 7 (Reuters) - China’s CNPC and Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) are closer to an agreement on the price of Russian gas deliveries to China and should have a deal by June, a Chinese source close to the talks said on Thursday.

“Our positions have gotten much closer. We are not far away now, and we are aiming to have a commercial agreement in place by June,” he said.

State-owned Gazprom wants to pump 30 billion cubic metres of gas a year to China from end-2015, but price talks have been stalled for years. A fresh round of talks will start next week, he said.

The talks will cover the possibility of a Chinese loan to Russia to build a pipeline, he said, adding the talks focused on a route favoured by Gazprom from its Arctic Yamal gas fields and over the Altai mountains to the Chinese border.

“The loan is still on the table. We are mainly looking at the Western corridor through Altai, but we haven’t stopped talking about the other, eastern, possibility,” he said, referring to the option to build a separate gas pipeline from Russia’s Far-East where it has vast untapped gas reserves.

“With the western corridor we would be getting the gas not from a specific field but from the central gas transport system,” he added.

Reporting Jessica Bachman; editing by Melissa Akin

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