MOSCOW (Xinhua) – Russian energy giant Gazprom is expected to set a new record for the annual amount of gas deliveries to Europe, indicating the need for new contracts with partners from the continent, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said yesterday.
“This year we had an interesting event: for Gazprom’s long-term export contracts have met the maximum annual amount of gas. This means the need to conclude additional pipeline contracts,” Novak told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper in an interview.
Pipeline gas is the most competitive in Europe, the minister said.
Novak also said Russia is ready to ensure gas deliveries under long-term contracts to the European Union (EU) in the absence of a new agreement on gas transit with Ukraine by December 2019.
According to the minister, a constructive dialogue with Ukraine was hampered by the legal dispute between Ukraine’s energy company Naftogaz and Gazprom over the deliveries and transit of the Russian gas.
In early December, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Alexander Medvedev said the company’s gas exports to Europe will exceed 200 billion cubic metres in 2018. The amount in 2017 was 194.4 billion cubic metres, an all-time high since Russia started gas supply to Europe.