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The Russian firm Gazprom’s natural gas exports to Europe will continue to increase through the end of 2016, according to the company’s Management Committee Chairman, Alexey Miller.
"Currently we expect a 10% increase and there are no factors triggering a downtrend,” the official said on Monday to TASS, a Russian news source. "There is a sustainable demand for Russian gas, and it keeps growing. Even in case the demand is not growing but keeps at its level those 10% will be there.”
Miller added that the third and fourth quarters of the year usually represent “peak demand quarters” for Gazprom, meaning total gas exports to Europe may exceed 170 billion cubic meters by the end of 2016 - roughly 10 billion cubic meters more than in 2015.
Despite the European Union’s public plan to replace Russia as a major energy source for the continent, demand for Russian gas in many European Union member states has increased between January and August of this year. Gazprom’s data shows rising exports to Austria (16.8 percent), Greece (66.2 percent), Poland (21.5 percent), France (29.3 percent), the United Kingdom (62.1 percent), as well as other member states during the time period specified.
Last year, the European Council on Foreign Relations released a report outlining new energy sources for Europe. The document called Russia an “unreliable partner” and suggested several Central European and Middle Eastern countries – including Iran and Iraq – as possible suppliers in the near future, albeit with logistical caveats.
In July, EU member states agreed to invest the equivalent of US$297 million on energy-generating projects across the bloc, with particular focus on the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. All three countries had previously been under the control of the Soviet Union, which is why the Russian Federation and its state-run energy companies remain major sources of oil and natural gas.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…