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    Gazprom to Stock 9bn m3 in European Gas Storage


The Russian supplier wants to have 9bn m3 of gas in European storage facilities in preparation for winter.

by: Joe Murphy

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Gazprom to Stock 9bn m3 in European Gas Storage

Russia's Gazprom plans to pump almost 9bn m3 of gas into underground storage facilities in Europe to ensure it can meet high levels of demand during winter, its CEO Alexei Miller told Russian president Vladimir Putin in a meeting on September 16.

Last year the company aimed to stock 11.4bn m3 of gas in Europe ahead of winter. It wanted to store more gas than usual then because of the risk of a disruption in Russian gas transit via Ukraine at the start of 2020. That disruption was averted, as Russia and Ukraine were able to agree a new five-year transit deal.

The volume of gas in Russian storage facilities is expected to reach 72.3bn m3 at the onset of the withdrawal period, Miller said, in line with the level a year earlier.

"The implementation of all these measures will allow Gazprom to fully satisfy all the needs of our consumers in winter," he said, according to a transcript published on the websites of Gazprom and the Kremlin.

Miller also said Gazprom was stepping up investment in gasification in Russia. It aims to spend rubles 56bn ($745mn) on expanding gas supply to more consumers this year, up from rubles 34bn in 2019. Some 2,350 km of pipelines will be built to supply an extra 319 settlements, and 410 boiler units will be installed.

The situation in the European gas market has been "normalising" over the past few months after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Miller said. Gas exports to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) recovered in August, rising 12% month on month.

Gazprom aims to send 170bn m3 of gas to non-CIS states this year, versus 199.3bn m3 in 2019.