Negotiations between China and Russia on a giant gas deal reportedly worth some 300 billion euros have run into the sand in talks in Shanghai, the latest stage in a process that has taken 10 years of talks already.
The countries are working on a giant pipeline deal to transport the gas, but Russia is believed to be sticking out for the best price it can get.
Gazprom’s plans for building a 16-billion-euro pipeline to China are well-advanced. It could carry 38 billion cubic metres annually, or about a quarter of China’s current needs.
However analysts warn time is running out for Russia as alternative Asian supplies become available, and China seeks a price more in line with that region, and not Russia’s main market, Europe.
Australia is about to become a liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, and Iran’s president is also in China trying to drum up business.