Gazprom takes Turkmengaz to arbitration as fight for China heats up

Gazprom has  lodged a complaint against Turkmenistan’s Turkmengaz over gas prices, the Russian company announced yesterday. The move comes two weeks after Turkmenistan accused Gazprom of not paying for the  gas it  has been supplying it since the beginning of the year.
 Gazprom is the world’s top natural gas producer but also buys gas from Turkmenistan for its own use or resale, and is now calling for a revision of those prices which are reported to be around $240 per 1,000m³.
Relations between the two countries are becoming increasingly strained as they battle each other for a share of the huge and lucrative Chinese market. Turkmenistan currently supplies China with  around 30bn m³ each year and  plans to double that volume by 2020. For its part, Gazprom plans to start selling gas to China by 2018, although Beijing’s recent decision to indefinitely postpone a 30-year contract it agreed to last year will have put those plane in jeopardy.