10 Jun 2010 17:04

Gazprom's Miller sees demand for gas slackening in Europe

CANNES. June 10 (Interfax) - The trend towards sustained demand for gas in Europe was bucked a month and a half ago, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at the European Business Congress in Cannes.

"Unfortunately, the financial and economic crisis continues to have a negative impact on gas consumption. If at the end of 2009 and first third of 2010 we saw dynamic growth in gas demand in the EU, then the situation in May will worsen that positive trend. We see that financial problems in the eurozone have started to affect the energy markets also," Miller said.

"The picture will spoil, at least for individual countries," he said.

Gazprom's specialists intend to conduct a detailed analysis of this process and unveil it at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, he said.

Russian gas industry statistics indicate that Gazprom started to fall below production targets in the second week of May and that production is currently around a quarter of a billion cu m down per day.

"Even so, we are convinced that demand for gas in Europe will only increase in the long term, but that its own production will fall sharply. Independent forecasts show Europe faces growth in imports to 415 bcm by 2010 and 500 bcm by 2030," Miller said.