* China prefers gas from new East Siberia fields
* Gazprom says delivery from W. Siberia still in discussion
* Price stand-off unresolved
* Gazprom pursuing broader Asian strategy, including LNG
(Adds comments from Gazprom spokesman paragraphs 4 and 5)
By Melissa Akin
MOSCOW, Dec 11 Gazprom's talks with
China on supplying gas from eastern Siberia have moved "to a
practical level", the Russian gas export monopoly said,
indicating it was seeking to revive the long-stalled
The company's statement on Tuesday, citing comments by Chief
Executive Alexei Miller, showed it may expect some progress in
the talks, which have involved little more than formalities
since the failure of a final deal at the last minute in June
Gazprom hopes to sell up to 68 billion cubic metres of gas
to China, not only from undeveloped new fields in eastern
Siberia but also from its old core fields in western Siberia,
which now supply European customers. That would put China in
competition with Europe for those gas supplies.
A Gazprom spokesman said the western route was still on the
"We have always talked about two routes, but we were not
prepared for a detailed discussion of the eastern route," the
spokesman said. "Now we are ready."
Pricing has been the thorniest issue throughout the long
history of the Russia-China gas talks.
Gazprom has argued it could get a higher price for the gas
from its European customers than China was offering, but China
has resisted its attempts to play the two markets off each other
to get higher prices.
After talks with Chinese energy officials last week, Deputy
Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he expected progress on
both route and price.
Gazprom, worried about falling demand in Europe, has already
committed to spending $38 billion to develop the eastern
resources and build infrastructure to transport gas to Asian
markets, a price tag seen as high by analysts.
It includes a plan to build a plant near Vladivostok to
liquefy some of the gas and transport it by tanker to Asian
customers, but analysts say a contract to sell gas by pipeline
to China would be expensive and provide stable demand.
It plans total investments of 841 billion roubles ($27.4
billion) next year, down from 975 billion this year, Interfax
reported on Tuesday, citing a source.
($1 = 30.7307 Russian roubles)
(Reporting by Melissa Akin and Olesya Astakhova; Editing by
Maria Kiselyova and Jane Baird)