Russia sees gas exports increase this year amid energy crisis

Russia predicts Gazprom PJSC’s gas supplies in key markets including Europe, Turkey and China to reach 197.3 billion cubic meters this year as global energy markets grapple with the worst supply crisis in decades.

The figure, which is 10% higher than last year, is also slightly higher than Gazprom’s own conservative outlook for 2021. The Russian gas producer said earlier that it expects flows to Europe and Turkey at 183 billion cubic meters, while shipments to China are expected at 8.5. billion cubic meters.

Europe, the largest buyer of Russian natural gas, is starting its heating season with abnormally low gas levels in its stocks. Regional benchmarks have reached record highs, driven by intensive maintenance of Norwegian gas fields earlier this year and competition with Asia for liquefied natural gas cargoes.

The projections are part of the macroeconomic outlook seen by Bloomberg News and used by the Russian government to draft the country’s 2022-2024 budget. Actual exports for 2021 may differ from outlook as Gazprom makes the final decision on supplies, depending on the market situation, customer demands and its own production capacities.

Gazprom, which last year supplied a third of all gas consumed in Europe, has come under criticism and accusations of intentionally capping export flows to Europe in the past two months to force swift approval of its controversial Baltic Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Still, the Russian gas giant’s main European customers have said they are receiving the requested gas in accordance with contracts. Gazprom itself has said it aims to provide additional gas under long-term agreements “to the extent possible”.

The Economics Department, which is involved in preparing the macroeconomic outlook, did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.

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