China has decided to stop purchasing Russian gas: signing of a new agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been postponed for an indefinite period.
It was reported with reference to analyst Valery Nesterov, who said that signing of the contract on delivering Russian natural gas to China through Altai gas pipeline has been postponed. The date of the next iteration of the talks on the contract remains unknown.
As a tactful explanation, a drop in demand for gas due to the slowing down of the Chinese economy was provided. The second reason, also mentioned in the press, sounds more realistic: it is cheaper for Beijing to buy natural gas in Australia.
In addition, Beijing expressed dissatisfaction with the price that Gazprom set for the construction of Altai pipeline. Beijing intends to announce a transparent tender with a detailed description of prices and expenses, which Gazprom is categorically displeased with.
Earlier, according to the framework agreement, Gazprom could supply 30 billion cubic meters of gas to China from Western Siberia.