(Adds comment from Cheng in second paragraph.)
Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- China and Russia are “working hard” to complete a gas deal and leaders of the two countries will discuss energy cooperation at a meeting next week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said.
“The negotiations are in the final phase and relevant enterprises have reached consensus on most of the aspects and now they are just negotiating on some details,” Cheng told reporters in Beijing today.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Oct. 11, saying at the time that the two sides were nearing an agreement. Putin and Wen will discuss energy cooperation during bilateral talks at a Nov. 6-8 regional summit in St. Petersburg, Cheng said.
Both sides are seeking to overcome a stalemate in talks on natural gas deliveries to China. Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, has delayed plans to build gas pipelines to the Asian country for more than a decade because of wrangling over how much China will pay for the fuel.
“Those who sell always want to sell at a higher price, while those who buy want to buy at a lower price,” Putin said in Beijing on Oct. 11 at the start of talks with Wen. “We need to reach a compromise that will satisfy both sides.”
Russian gas export monopoly OAO Gazprom plans to ship Siberian gas from as early as 2015, with total annual deliveries to reach 68 billion cubic meters, more than 60 percent of China’s 2010 consumption, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
“Both sides are working hard to promote gas cooperation between the two countries,” Cheng said.
--Editors: Patrick Harrington, Peter Hirschberg
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