Gazprom reported a sharp increase in gas exports to non-CIS countries in the first half of the year – by 25.7%, to 99.9 billion cubic meters. This is the second largest indicator in history after the first half of 2018. In fact, the monopoly could break that record, but it is limited in the capacity of the transport infrastructure, given its reluctance to book additional capacity through Ukraine. If the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline can be at least partially launched by October, then in general for the year Gazprom will probably exceed the 2018 figure of 201.8 billion cubic meters.
Gazprom increased gas supplies to Europe and Turkey by more than a quarter in the first half of the year – to 99.9 billion cubic meters, which is only slightly less than the record level in January-June 2018 (101.2 billion cubic meters). Based on Gazprom’s data, supplies to Turkey more than tripled, to a record 14.64 billion cubic meters, to Germany – by 43.4%, to 28.87 billion cubic meters.
Exports could have increased even more, but Gazprom simply does not have sufficient pipeline capacities for this: for example, even with the full load of all current routes, the volume of supplies to Europe in the first half of the year could not exceed 89 billion cubic meters (the rest was raised by Gazprom from underground storage facilities in Europe).
At the same time, Gazprom refuses to book additional capacities of the Ukrainian GTS, waiting for the commissioning of Nord Stream-2, the first line of which has already been laid. In theory, the commissioning of the first string can take about two months. However, it is unclear how long it will take to certify the pipe (without it, the German regulator will not allow its operation), given the US sanctions against the project. If Gazprom is able to use at least the first string of the gas pipeline by the start of the new gas year on October 1, this will add at least 85 million cubic meters of new capacity to the company. In this case, Gazprom will have a chance to break its previous export record set in 2018 (201.8 billion cubic meters).
What indicators does Gazprom expect in 2021
Cold winters and hot summers not only stimulate export growth, but also increase gas consumption within Russia: Gazprom’s supplies to the domestic market grew by 16% in the first half of the year (19.1 billion cubic meters). The company’s production increased by 18%, to 260.8 billion cubic meters, which gives reason to expect that by the end of the year production will exceed 500 billion cubic meters. The last time this happened was in 2019, and before that – in 2011.