Gazprom’s exports to Europe fell by 12% in 2020

File photo. A view of the exhibition stand of the Russian Gazprom company during the 21st World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2014. [Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA-EFE]

Russian energy giant Gazprom on Monday (15 February) announced a drop in its exports to Europe in 2020, when prices and demand in the energy industry collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gazprom, which includes Turkey in Europe, said its European exports fell by 12.1% in 2020 year-on-year, down to 174.97 billion cubic metres compared to the 198.97 bcm it exported to Europe in 2019.

The decline nonetheless exceeds Gazprom’s forecast for 2020, which had foreseen exports of 166.6 bcm to Europe last year.

The Russian producer derives a large part of its income from its European exports, particularly those that go to Western Europe.

Its main consumer is Germany, whose gas imports fell by 14% in 2020 on the previous year.

While demand for gas was hit by the pandemic, Gazprom’s plans to increase its exports to Europe have also been thwarted by uncertainty over the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Work on the $11 billion pipeline resumed in German waters in December after being suspended for nearly a year because of the threat of US sanctions.

The United States and several European countries including Poland take a dim view of the pipeline, arguing that it will increase the dependence of Germany and the European Union on Russia.

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