23 Mar 2010 17:44

Russia boosts natural gas exports 63% in Jan-Feb

MOSCOW. March 23 (Interfax) - Russia exported 28.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in January-February 2010, 63% more than in the same period last year, the Economic Development Ministry said in its economic monitoring report for the first two months of the year.

Russia exported 16.7 bcm outside the CIS (27.2% more year-on-year), including 11.3 bcm in February (73.2% more).

Russia exported 11.7 bcm to CIS countries in the two months (170% more year-on-year), including 5.5 bcm in February (170% more).

Gas exports in February rose 100% overall to 16.8 bcm.

Russia's Sakhalin-2 project also exported 584,000 tonnes of LNG, the equivalent of 1.31 bcm, in January, according to Federal Customs Service data.

Russia produced 122 bcm of natural gas and associated petroleum gas in the first two months of the year, 16.5% more than in the same period last year. Gazprom produced 96.7 bcm in the period, 14.1% more year-on-year. That accounted for 79.2% of the total, down from 80.9% in the same period last year. Oil companies and independents produced 25.4 bcm in the two months, 26.5% more.

Production was higher due to stronger demand in the housing utilities and electricity sectors as well as in the metals and chemical sectors.

Gas production in February rose 15.9% to 57.8 bcm. Average daily production equaled 2.06 bcm, 3.3% more than in February 2009. Gazprom produced 45.8 bcm in February, 15% more. The gas giant accounted for 79.2% of total Russian production in the month, down from 79.8% in February 2009. Oil companies and independent producers produced 12 bcm of gas in February, to boost their share of total production to 20.8%.

February saw the launch of Russia's first coalbed methane extraction operation, at the Taldinsky coal deposit in Kemerovo region.

Gas consumption in Russia totaled 106.9 bcm in the two months, 10.8% more than in the same period last year, according to provisional data from the Energy Ministry. Boiler plants and thermal electricity stations consumed 28.5 bcm in the period, 9.4% more.