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Gazprom’s Daily Gas Exports in January Fall to Lowest Since 2015

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Gazprom’s Daily Gas Exports in January Fall to Lowest Since 2015

Gazprom PJSC’s daily gas exports to its main markets shrank in the first 15 days of the new year to the lowest since 2015 while criticism is growing that it’s withholding supplies to Europe.

The Russian gas giant exported 5.4 billion cubic meters to its key markets, which include most of Europe, Turkey and China, the company said Monday. That equates to average daily flows of 360 million cubic meters and is almost 18% lower than last month’s average, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Gazprom statements.

Russian gas shipments to Europe have been closely watched as a shortage of the fuel -- and soaring prices -- hurt economies across the continent. European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said last week she’s “eagerly awaiting” answers from Gazprom about the scant supply. A day earlier, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, blamed Russia for the region’s energy crunch.

“Neither Russia nor our main exporter Gazprom have anything to do with this,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told state television on Saturday. Russia has delivered “significantly more” gas to clients such as Germany and Turkey that had exhausted their contracted volumes, he said.

The company on Monday said it was “delivering gas in line with requests from consumers and its contractual obligations.”

Gazprom doesn’t give an export breakdown for each country, making it difficult to assess deliveries to the EU -- the single-largest buyer of Russian gas, but said that flows to Turkey and China rose compared with the same period a year ago.

The company’s daily shipments across EU borders have dropped to an average of 250.5 million cubic meters in the first half of the month, a little more than half of the volume a year ago, according to data on the producer’s website.

Russian gas deliveries to Europe dropped in January

Russia’s Yamal-Europe pipeline has been sending gas in reverse mode -- from Germany to Poland -- for more than three weeks. And flows through a key route via Ukraine toward Slovakia are at only about a third of the usual level.

At the end of December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Gazprom was complying with long-term gas-supply deals, and that the absence of shipments via Yamal-Europe reflected a lack of requests from European clients.

Even higher deliveries to China didn’t reverse the decline in Gazprom’s total exports. Since Jan. 1, the Russian producer “has reached a new level of supplies,” as envisioned in a long-term agreement, Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said earlier this month, without providing details. Deliveries in the first half of January were 1.5-fold higher compared with the same period a year ago, according to Gazprom’s statement.

Gazprom’s production in the first half of the month averaged 1.54 billion cubic meters a day, the highest since 2014, according to Bloomberg calculations.

That’s 1.1% higher than December levels. In the final third of that month, Gazprom’s deliveries to the domestic market, as well as its withdrawals from underground storage facilities in Russia, reached a 10-year high amid abnormally low temperatures.

 

Olga Tanas & Dina Khrennikova

Πηγή: bloomberg.com

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