Supplies to Europe grew by 8%, Germany remains the largest market.
In early January, Gazprom published operational data on gas exports to Europe. “In 2017, the company supplied 193.9 billion cubic meters of gas to non-CIS countries. m of gas, the words of the company’s predecessor Alexei Miller are quoted in the message. – This is 14.6 billion cubic meters. m (by 8.1%) exceeds the previous maximum achieved in 2016 “. The second consecutive absolute record, “on the one hand, demonstrates the rapidly growing demand of European countries for Russian gas, on the other – its reliable supply in the required quantities,” Miller said.
Also, Gazprom partially disclosed the operational data on gas supplies to selected European countries. But only 12 countries were on the list. All of them have increased the import of Russian gas.
The largest European customer of Gazprom is still Germany. The country imported 53.4 billion cubic meters. m of gas, which also became a historical record. However, the growth rate of the German market for Gazprom has been declining for the third consecutive year. But even the available supplies are comparable to the design capacity of the already operating “Nord Stream”. This gives an additional argument in favor of its planned expansion. The tariff for transportation of gas along the northern route is 20% lower than in the Ukrainian route, said Miller in the summer of 2016. Therefore, the countries of Western Europe, which would prefer to import Russian gas through Germany, without a second pipe on the bottom of the Baltic Sea can not do.
The maximum increase in imports in absolute terms in 2017 fell on Turkey, which increased purchases of Russian gas by 4.24 billion cubic meters. In percentage terms – to Austria, where Gazprom increased deliveries by almost 40%. This country almost doubled gas purchases from Gazprom over two years.
In its “growth list,” the company mentioned even Denmark, which increased the purchase of Russian gas by only 2 million cubic meters. m – to 1.75 billion cubic meters. m. For comparison: the norm of annual consumption for a family of four in Moscow in an apartment with a gas stove – about 400 cubic meters.
The total increase in supplies to 12 countries amounted to 15.65 billion cubic meters. m – more than the growth of exports in general. For the rest of the countries, Gazprom did not disclose the data.
Including the company did not specify the supply to Italy and the UK, which in 2016 occupied the 3rd and 4th places in the import of Russian gas. In total, last year they accounted for almost a quarter (23.75%, 42.6 billion cubic meters) of Gazprom’s export supplies. The latest officially disclosed data on shipments to these countries during 2017 covers only the first three quarters. In comparison with the same indicator of 2016, Gazprom’s exports to Italy declined slightly – by 1%, and to the UK – fell by 7.78%.
The sixth largest importer of Russian gas in 2016 – Poland in the first nine months of 2017 reduced purchases from Gazprom by 7.28%. In an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, deputy chairman of the board of Polish PGNiG Maciej Wozniak said that the company is going to continue the program of diversification of gas supply sources. From Gazprom, the company is waiting for supply proposals on “normal market conditions,” he said. The contract on deliveries signed by 2022, which has a link between the cost of gas and the oil basket, does not suit the Polish side, and the country is considering the possibility of completely refusing to import Russian gas after the agreement expires.
Gazprom’s export record was conditioned both by the dynamics of demand and by the fact that Russian gas remained competitive enough for the price, says Dmitri Marinchenko, Director of Fitch Corporation. However, as the share of Gazprom in the European market has changed, it is difficult to say yet. In 2016, it was slightly less than 34%. But data on gas consumption in Europe in 2017 continental regulators have not yet been disclosed. “The share of Gazprom in the market appears to have grown, but insignificantly – for example, the supplies of Norwegian gas also hit records and were 7% higher than in 2016,” Marinchenko points out.
Most of the increase in the import of Russian gas comes from countries that are expected to be shipped via Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. “We can assume that Gazprom was more flexible in terms of price policy in relation to the countries with which these projects are connected. Ultimately, the volumes of purchases are rather conditioned by the price of Gazprom compared to the price of competitors, rather than something else, “Marinchenko supposes.
But this year the share of Gazprom in the European market may drop slightly, including due to the growth in supplies of American LNG. But this decline will not be significant – most of the US liquefied gas will go to Asia, where prices are much higher, Marinchenko says. Some decrease in exports to Europe in 2018 may be due to the resumption of supplies to Ukraine, which now buys all gas in Europe, recalls the analyst. “According to the arbitration decision, the” buy or pay “condition will apply to 4 billion cubic meters. m annually, it is impossible to exclude more significant purchases. However, this is only a matter of accounting and conceptually nothing changes, “Marinchenko said.
Author: Arthur Toporkov
Article in Russian: Vedomosti