24 Apr 2018 12:49

Gazprom expecting to set new records in exports to Europe in 2018; 200 bcm possible, says industry expert

BERLIN. April 24 (Interfax) - Gazprom's performance in 2018 gives grounds to believe the Russian gas giant will set a new record for exports to Europe, Alexander Medvedev, the company's deputy CEO, said during the an international conference on Prospects for Russia-EU Energy Cooperation: Gas Aspects in Berlin.

"This winter wasn't that cold, but it did reveal a number of problems. In January, which was cold, production of renewable forms of energy almost came to a halt in some countries. At the time, several experts acknowledged said that Russian gas had saved Europe from a potential blackout. We supplied a record volume of gas, not just in annual but also in daily terms," he said.

"We could be exporting 200 bcm of gas this year," Pavel Zavalny, chairman of the State Duma's Energy Committee and the president of the Russian Gas Society, said at the conference.

Russian gas supplies to FSU countries for the last 12 months are just over 198 bcm, compared to 194.4 bcm a year ago.

OMV executive board member Manfred Leitner added that the situation in January and March were perfect demonstrations that only Russian gas can cover Europe's peak consumption periods; LNG would never be able to manage peak consumption. LNG carriers only go where prices are high, he said, adding that in future LNG is expected to go to Asia and the Middle East, where prices are higher.

Leitner called for diversifying sources of pipeline gas supply from Russia, noting the need for construction of Nord Stream 2.