Gazprom is responsible for more than half of the increase in China’s gas imports this year, the Russian energy group’s CEO, Alexei Miller, said without providing figures, Reuters reports.
Gazprom’s natural gas exports, especially to Europe, almost halved last year after the imposition of Western sanctions, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, according to Agerpres.
Russia, whose economy is heavily dependent on sales of raw materials, has diversified its oil exports from Europe to Asia and other regions.
In a statement, Miller reported that in 2023 Europe’s natural gas consumption fell for the second year in a row. Gas demand decreased in 2022 by 56 billion cubic meters (bcm), and in the first eight months of 2023 by another 26 billion cubic meters.
“At the same time, we see an increase in the Chinese gas market. China’s gas imports increased in the first eight months of 2023 and Gazprom is responsible for more than half of this increase,” Miller added.
Russia supplies gas to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline. Exports via this route reached 15 bcm last year and should reach 22 bcm in 2023.
Recently, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia hopes to reach an agreement by the end of the year to supply China with gas through the planned Power of Siberia 2 pipeline.
Moscow wants the 2,600 km pipeline – which will have a capacity of 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year – to replace lost exports to Europe.
Analysts expect Gazprom to deliver just 50-65 bcm to Europe and Turkey this year, down from a peak of around 200 bcm in 2018.