Gas reserves in European underground storage facilities are very scarce, about 25%, and in some countries the figure is critical – about 10%, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has announced today, on March 13, at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
“Of course, in a situation when gas production inside Europe is decreasing, when demand for the Russian gas is growing and we see that peak demand is increasing, new gas exporting projects are becoming more vital. I mean the Turkish Stream and Nord Stream 2,” Miller said.
Speaking on the legal dispute with Naftogaz, Miller explained: “The Stockholm arbitration court took an asymmetrical decision that breached the balance of interests of the parties in two contracts: the contract for gas supply to Ukraine and the transit contract, Under the court’s verdict, Gazprom is to pay $2.56bn to Naftogaz. And suddenly, Naftogaz says based on the verdict of the Stockholm court it will fine us more in 2018 and in 2019, till the term of the contracts expires, so we shall have to pay several billion dollars. Of course, in this situation the contracts are no longer economically effective for us, so Gazprom made a decision to launch a legal procedure to rescind the contracts in the Stockholm arbitration court. We have already submitted our appeals on the contract to supply gas to Ukraine, by the end of March we are planning to submit an appeal to the gas-transit contract and initiate the procedure of cancelling the contracts in accordance with the established procedure,” he said.
Deputy Director of the National Energy Security Fund Alexey Grivach believes that this year Gazprom can break its last-year record in gas exports (193bn c m of gas), but this is hard to predict.
“Last year, the volume of supply was much larger than contracted volumes, a lot will depend on weather conditions and, for instance, strategies of European traders, if they are ready to run the risks that the winter gas prices will not allow making up for storage expenditures,” the expert says.