Turkish companies ‘may go to arbitration for Gazprom gas cut’
Merve Erdil - ISTANBUL
Some Turkish gas importers may go to arbitration court for the recent gas cut by Russia’s Gazprom, according to sources close to the matter.
“We want this issue to be resolved in line with the contract with Gazprom in the most positive manner as possible. If this is not possible, the addressee to whom the issue will be brought is clear, which is international arbitration,” said a sector representative.
Gazprom reduced gas supplies to Turkish companies in February. Sources then said the Turkish private sector and Gazprom were in talks over the future of a 10.25 percent price discount, but the Russian side recently canceled this discount unilaterally, underlining “disagreements over the gas price.”
Gazprom Export said on Feb. 25 it is continuing negotiations with gas consumers in Turkey and aims to maintain stable contractual relations, according to TASS News Agency.
“As is the case in our contracts with other gas companies, there is an article stipulating the possibility of going to the arbitration court for unresolved disagreements in our contract with Gazprom Export. … If we need to go to arbitration, this is quite normal as arbitration is a civilized and lawful way,” said a sector source, adding that all companies cannot apply for arbitration and that separate filings may be the case instead.
“According to the contract, any issue can be brought to the arbitration court if an issue cannot be resolved in six months. The point here is if Russia does what it did in the Lithuanian and Ukrainian markets to Turkey, it may lose the Turkish market,” added the source.
Turkish companies import 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Gazprom annually in line with a 2013 contract.