China and Russia Reaffirm Gas Deal Plans

The New York Times
October 13, 2009

BEIJING — China and Russia announced $3.5 billion worth of trade agreements on Tuesday and reaffirmed their commitment to a huge natural gas deal that would give the Chinese an important new Russian source of supply, once the final details on pricing are negotiated.

The agreements, signed by Prime Ministers Vladimir V. Putin and Wen Jiabao, came on the second day of Mr. Putin’s trip to China, which both countries have portrayed as a reflection of their increasingly close collaboration.

The natural gas deal was called a “framework” by Alexei Miller, the chief of Gazprom, the Russian state-run gas exporter, which made the deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation, China’s largest oil and gas producer.

The deal calls for the supply of nearly 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year via two potential routes originating from Siberia. China has one of the fastest-growing economies and has been searching for new sources of energy. It has focused on Central Asian nations and Russia as potential suppliers of large amounts of natural gas.

Russian and Chinese officials did not give any estimates of the worth of the gas deal, if it was to be put into effect.

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