MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has postponed the planned construction of its gas pipeline to China, Russian business daily Vedomosti said Wednesday, citing undisclosed sources.
“Gazprom delayed the start of the construction of its Power of Siberia gas pipeline to transport gas to China from November  to the first quarter of 2014,” Vedomosti wrote, citing sources close to Gazprom and its affiliates.
A spokesman for the Russian gas giant declined to comment on the report.
One of the sources said the decision was due to a lack of a final contract with China. A tentative agreement between Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), signed after a meeting between the two nations’ leaders in March, envisages the annual supply of up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to China.
During a telephone conference Tuesday about Gazprom’s results, under international financial reporting standards (IFRS), for the first quarter of 2013, a Gazprom spokesmen did not directly answer whether a final deal with China will be signed by the end of this year.
Gazprom and China have long been negotiating gas prices. Gazprom’s top managers have repeatedly said the gas price was the only issue that remained unsettled.
The final deal between Gazprom and CNPC was expected to be signed during this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in late June.
In its February presentation for investors, Gazprom estimated that about $60 billion is to be invested in the project to build the “eastern” route of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline.
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