Waging energy war, Gazprom saw production slump 20 percent
Not since the early 1990s has the state-controlled natural gas company had this low production and export.
According CEO Aleksei Miller, the company in 2022 produced a total of 412,6 billion cubic meters of gas. That is 20 percent down from 2021.
Exports amounted to 100,9 billion cubic meters, a 46 percent drop year-on-year.
“The year 2022 was very, very difficult. The energy markets underwent total changes,” Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller said in a late December company meeting.
The big drop in exports follows Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine and its repeated efforts to blackmail buyers in the EU. Of the pipelines that previously brought Russian gas towards Europe, only the TurkStream and parts of the Ukrainian transit pipelines today remain in operation.
In a subsequent New Year greeting, Miller highlighted that China now is the company’s new top priority market. According to the company chief, exports to the country are due to increase to 25 billion cubic meters in 2023. And as projected pipelines are built, supplies to the country will ultimately reach 100 billion cubic meters per year.
During the address, the company leader wore a button with the “Z”, Russia’s symbol for its war against Ukraine.
More than 90 percent of Gazprom’s production is extracted from fields in the Arctic. Despite its growing export troubles, the company continues to develop new Arctic fields, among them the Semakovskoye and Kharasaveyskoye.
In Europe, the Russian gas is replaced by a significant increase in imports from Norway, USA and several more countries. In 2022, the EU imported natural gas equivalent to 56 billion cubic meters from the USA, Kommersant reports.
Russia’s natural gas exports is expected to continue to plummet in 2023. According to estimates, only about 75 billion cubic meters will be sold to countries outside former Soviet space. Of that volume, 25 billion will be exported to China.
China was the only country that in 2022 increased its imports of Russian natural gas.
Gazprom is presented to the Russian population as ‘our national asset.’ However, according to reports from Aleksei Navalny’s team of investigators, the company is first of all a “depthless wallet” of Vladimir Putin, used to build the president’s great wealth. According to the revelations, Putin after year 2000 quickly seized control over the company and divided it among himself, his friends and relatives.
“This is the main corruption monster of Vladimir Putin,” Navalny colleague Maria Pevchikh underlines in a video.