* Gazprom CEO invites CNPC head to Moscow for talks June 14
* Russia had hoped to finalise deal by June 10
MOSCOW, June 9 (Reuters) - Russia’s state-controlled gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) has invited China’s CNPC [CNPET.UL] to continue discussions on a major gas supply deal next week as political pressure to wrap up talks mounts.
“Talks resulted in (Gazprom CEO) Alexei Miller sending CNPC President Jiang Jiemin an official invitation to continue discussing all current issues of bilateral cooperation in Moscow on June 14,” Sergei Kupriyanov, Gazprom’s chief spokesman, said in a statement.
The countries had previously set June 10 as an informal deadline to agree on the details and pricing for the deal under which Russia plans to export 68 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas to China a year for 30 years starting in 2014-2015.
On Tuesday, as Russian and China officials tried to hammer out a deal in Beijing, China said it hoped for a major “breakthrough” ahead of the visit to Russia next week by President Hu Jintao, who has made energy security a top priority for China, the world’s largest energy importer. [ID:nL3E7H71F9]
The two sides have been bogged down in disagreements on pricing for the fuel that Gazprom would pump via two routes.
One pipeline would ship 30 bcm per day from west Siberian fields through the so-called Altai route that would cross a narrow stretch of common border located between Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
A further 38 bcm per year would go by another pipeline down Russia’s Pacific seaboard and into northeast China.
Earlier this week Gazprom’s CEO stood firm that it would not accept lower profits on gas deliveries to China than those on sales to Europe. [ID:nLDE75519Q]
Gazprom expects European consumers to pay around $500 per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas in the fourth quarter of this year. (Writing by Jessica Bachman; editing by Douglas Busvine)