Gazprom signs five-year natural gas contract with Turkmenistan

FILE PHOTO: Gazprom logos are on display at Bovanenkovo gas field on the Arctic Yamal peninsula, Russia May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Gazprom has signed a 5-year contract with Turkmengaz to purchase natural gas, the Russian gas producer said on Wednesday.

Turkmenistan will supply Gazprom with up to 5.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year, the company said in a statement. It provided no information on the price.

In April, the Central Asian country resumed natural gas exports to Russia after a three-year suspension.

The volume agreed on Wednesday is much lower than Turkmenistan’s shipments to Russia in the decades preceding the suspension when annual exports could reach 50 bcm.

The bulk of Turkmen gas - about 40 bcm out of the total output of 70 bcm - now goes to China and the Ashgabat government is building a pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India to open up new markets.

Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva, writing by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman