19 Oct 2022 16:29

Gazprom CEO discusses cooperation prospects with Kazakh first deputy PM

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has discussed current and prospective issues of cooperation with Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar and Kazakh Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov.

Among the subjects under discussion were supplies of Russian gas to Kazakhstan, Gazprom said in a statement.

Akchulakov told journalists last week that Kazakhstan is counting on purchasing 4-10 billion cubic meters of gas. "Starting from 4 billion, we can now, as well, but [we need to] in 2024," Akchulakov said, adding that he plans to agree on the purchase of 10 bcm of gas at most.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said earlier that consumption on the domestic market is increasing annually due to new industrial facilities and the gasification of the country. Gas consumption has more than doubled in the last ten years from 9 bcm to 19 bcm.

A gas shortage is projected for the country next year and pivoting from exporting gas to supplying the domestic market is a forced step that will lead to a loss in currency revenue and a worse balance of trade, Tokayev said. "Systemic measures are needed to solve this problem, including measures to increase the reserve base and gas processing," he said.

Gas production in Kazakhstan totaled 53.8 bcm in 2021, and the plan for 2022 is 54.5 bcm, Akchulakov said in March. Gas exports totaled 7.2 bcm in 2021 and are expected to total 5 bcm in 2022.

Akchulakov said at the beginning of October that Kazakhstan is planning to end exports of commercial gas in the next two years. A shortage is projected to start in 2024. The needs of the domestic market exceed the available resources by approximately 1.7 bcm.

Kazakhstan sells gas to Russia and China.