Russia’s gas exports to Europe reached a record high in 2018 despite diplomatic tensions and the will of the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russia, Gazprom reported on Friday.
Gazprom, which has a monopoly on exports through gas pipelines, sold 201 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe and Turkey in 2018, 3.5% more than in 2017, its general director Alexeï Miller, told Russian agencies. These exports represent the lion’s share of Russia’s sales to Europe. A smaller share, open to competition, was exported in the form of liquefied natural gas.
Russia has been using the constant increase in European demand for its gas as a justification for its new gas-pipeline projects through Turkey or the Baltic States, despite the reticence of the EU, which has been saying for years that it wants to diversify its supply sources.
Gazprom, which replaced the Soviet Gas Ministry, covers about one-third of European consumption.
The group’s total gas production, which had sunk a few years ago to its lowest levels since the fall of the USSR due to increased competition, shot up by 5% in 2018, amounting to 497.6 billion m3.