Gazprom Says China Natural Gas Deal Delayed to Putin’s May Visit

From Businessweek

By Elena Mazneva

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas exporter, failed to seal a 30-year natural gas supply accord with China today, shifting the window for a deal to President Vladimir Putin’s planned trip to the Asian country in May.

The companies are considering preparing a contract in time for the visit, the Moscow-based company said in an e-mailed statement today after Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller met with China National Petroleum Corp. Chairman Zhou Jiping in Beijing. Miller had earlier said a deal would be clinched by the Chinese New Year.

The Russian exporter has sought a breakthrough in talks on building a pipeline to China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, for more than 15 years. The state-controlled companies signed the first framework accord in 1997, with talks stalling since over prices.

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