Russian gas exports to Europe through pipelines dropped to a post-Soviet low in 2022. This was because Russia’s largest customer cut imports because of the conflict in Ukraine, and mysterious blasts damaged a major pipeline.
The European Union has been Russia’s biggest customer for oil and gas for a long time. For years, it has talked about reducing its reliance on Russian energy, but after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February, it became more serious.
Gazprom’s CEO, Alexei Miller, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, said that the company’s exports outside of the former Soviet Union will reach 100.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year. Gazprom is owned by the state.
This is a drop of more than 45% from 2021’s level of 185.1 bcm, and it includes gas sent to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline. Last year, Gazprom sent 10.39 bcm through this pipeline.
After explosions at the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September, Russia stopped sending gas directly to Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe.
Sweden and Denmark both think that explosions caused the four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2, but they haven’t said who might be to blame. The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has said that the damage was caused on purpose.
Russia said that people in the British navy were behind the blasts, which London said was not true.
Last year, Russia sent 59.2 bcm of gas to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. This was a record amount.
Gazprom defines 100.9 bcm of Russian gas pipeline supplies as exports to “far abroad,” which means outside the former Soviet Union. This number is one of the lowest since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.
Gazprom Export says that in 1995, the company sold 117.4 bcm of gas “far abroad,” which was one of the lowest amounts since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Russia, on the other hand, has been selling more liquefied natural gas (LNG) by ship. This is mostly due to the Yamal LNG plant in the Arctic, which is run by Novatek (NVTK.MM).
Rosstat, a government agency, says that from January to November, Russia’s LNG production went up by almost 10%, to 29.7 million t.
And Russia has been able to make up for less gas going to Europe by charging more for energy. In the first 10 months of the year, oil and gas prices went up by more than a third, which helped Russia’s budget by more than a third.
Gazprom also said that its gas output in 2022 is expected to be 412.6 bcm, which is less than the 13-year high of 514.8 bcm in 2021.