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Gazprom is raising natural gas flows eastward to China at the request of Beijing, the Russian gas giant said on Thursday.
Gazprom, which exports gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline, said the daily volumes hit a maximum level on Wednesday, as gas flows were 16.1% higher than those previously contracted.
While Russia is increasing gas flows eastwards, it has been sending much lower volume westwards to Europe via one pipeline through Ukraine and via TurkStream.
Earlier this year, Russia slashed deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream to Germany, claiming sanctions issues with gas turbine repairs, before completely halting the gas flow via Nord Stream in early September. At the end of September, the two links of both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 exploded in the Baltic Sea in what investigators from Sweden, Denmark, and Germany say was sabotage on the pipelines.
At the same time, Russia is looking to boost energy exports to China, which is happy to accept discounted crude ignoring the EU/G7 price cap as well as increased gas volumes just as the winter begins.
The two countries have fostered close cooperation and energy ties in recent years. China is now the biggest outlet for Russian energy exports after Europe stopped importing Russian coal and imposed an EU embargo on crude oil imports by sea. Europe is now receiving only a fraction of the Russian gas volumes compared to the volumes imported before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
China’s energy imports from Russia, including coal, oil, and natural gas, have reached $60 billion since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported last month, up from $35 billion in the same period of 2021.
Just last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was ready to work for a closer partnership with Russia in the energy sector.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.