GAZPROM TARGETS FOR CHINA
Gazprom on Wednesday proposed signing a major China gas export deal in May, as industry sources indicated that the Russian gas giant may offer a lower price in return for billions of dollars in upfront payments.
Talks on selling Russian gas to China have dragged on for years with the two sides unable to agree on pricing. The state-owned Russian gas firm is wary of any deal that would undercut its existing European supply contracts.
Kremlin-controlled oil company Rosneft has already established a precedent for huge advances on its exports to China, receiving at least $12 billion lump sum late last year as part of a deal to ramp up supplies.
Russia, the world's biggest gas producer, faces rising competition from liquefied natural gas exporters and aims to bolster its own production with steps that included ending Gazprom's monopoly on gas exports this year.
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