Chief of Russia’s Gazprom admits ‘difficult’ year

The head of Gazprom said Wednesday the Russian gas giant had a challenging year, as the company seeks new markets following international sanctions over Moscow’s Ukraine offensive.

“I want to say right away that 2022, of course, has turned out to be very, very difficult,” Alexei Miller said during an end-of-year conference as tensions soar between Russia and the West.

Miller noted a “total change in the energy markets” driven by the consequences of Western sanctions on Moscow in response to President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine.

He insisted, however, that Gazprom continues to operate in a “very well-coordinated” manner.

In 2021, Russia was the largest gas supplier for the 27 countries of the European Union.

After the start of the Ukraine conflict, the bloc drastically reduced its imports of Russian natural gas as it seeks to cut its reliance on Moscow’s energy.

Gazprom accounts for 11 percent of the global natural gas production and has the largest gas reserves in the world.

The loss of its currents buyers has led Russia to seek alternative markets, particularly in Asia.

Miller also welcomed last week’s launch of the Kovykta gas field in Siberia, which would significantly raise exports to China.

“The Power of Siberia gas pipeline is now in operation throughout its entire length, more than 3,000 kilometres,” Miller said. (AFP)

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