Turkmen gas flows to Russia again after three-year standoff

FILE PHOTO: Sergei Kupriyanov, spokesman for Russia's Gazprom, takes part in a news conference in Moscow June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

ASHGABAT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Turkmenistan has resumed natural gas exports to Russia after a three-year suspension, Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Monday, confirming a report by Turkmen news website

“Supplies are taking place,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.

Neither Gazprom nor the Turkmen media report provided any details on price or volumes. The Turkmen government could not be immediately reached for comment.

Russia was the number one buyer of Turkmen gas until 2010, when the Central Asian nation began exports to China.

Russia then cut back imports and halted them completely in early 2016, contributing to a drop in Turkmenistan’s hard currency revenue. Both sides have since been discussing new gas supply terms, with the last round of talks held last month.

Before diverting some flows to China, Turkmenistan used to pump up to 50 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Russia. Today, it exports up to 40 bcm a year to the east, while producing about 70 bcm.

Reporting by Marat Gurt and Moscow Newsroom; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mark Heinrich, David Evans and Jan Harvey