Gazprom set to supply record gas levels to Europe

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom says it is working to keep natural gas exports to Europe near record levels in 2018. The company also announced that its deliveries this year signal it is achieving on its ambitions to expand. 
Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev was quoted by media as saying that the company would ship a minimum of 180 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe next year. 
That volume would be the second highest ever after at least 190 billion cubic meters expected this year, he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg in a recent interview. 
“Of course, it’s business, not sports,” Medvedev said. Yet, this is “a new stage” in the company’s history.
Gazprom meets more than a third of Europe’s demand for natural gas, Russia’s biggest and most lucrative market worth some $37 billion in revenue this year. Tighter trade links with the Kremlin-backed company contrast with increasing tensions on the military and political front.
While EU gas demand depends on weather and economic growth, it’s likely to increase next year as domestic production falls and coal prices recover, making imports from Gazprom more competitive, Medvedev said. Russia has the biggest potential to meet the additional demand, he said.
Medvedev acknowledged that Europe may take more LNG imports, especially when demand exceeds the capacity of pipeline suppliers. In Britain, pipeline imports are near peak levels, and there’s little storage available to give its system flexibility. The executive said supplies drawn from pipelines will remain more competitive than LNG.
Latin America and Asia so far remain priority markets for the super-chilled gas, especially from the US, amid higher prices there, Medvedev said. “This applies to both traditional and new markets -- China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.