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Gazprom to inject almost 9 Bcm into European storage facilities: CEO


Lower than volume to be stored last year

Market environment 'normalizing': Miller

Expects 2020 to be in top five supply years

London — Russia's Gazprom plans to inject almost 9 Bcm of gas into storage in Europe in preparation for the coming winter, CEO Alexei Miller said Sept. 16.

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Gazprom has been building up its gas storage capacity in Europe in recent years to give it more supply flexibility during the high-demand winter months.

The planned volume for this year is lower than the stocks it planned to build last year in Europe of at least 11.4 Bcm given the threat -- ultimately unfounded -- of disruption to Russian flows to Europe via Ukraine.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin Sept. 16, Miller also said stocks in Russia ahead of the withdrawal season would reach 72.3 Bcm, in line with levels last year.

"The implementation of all these measures will allow Gazprom to fully satisfy all the needs of our consumers in winter," Miller said according to a transcript of the meeting posted to the Kremlin website.

'Top five' year

Miller also told Putin that the market environment had been "normalizing" in the past few months and that gas exports to the Far Abroad (Europe plus Turkey and China minus the countries of the former Soviet Union) had rebounded in August compared with July.

"It is now possible to say with absolute certainty that in 2020 Gazprom will supply the Far Abroad countries with a volume of gas that will be included in the top five in the entire history of supply," Miller said.

In late August, Alexander Ivannikov, head of Gazprom's finance department, said Gazprom was forecasting sales in the Far Abroad of 170 Bcm this year, up from a previous prediction of 166 Bcm.

If Gazprom were to achieve sales of 170 Bcm in 2020, it would indeed be the fifth largest volume in the company's history, as Miller stated.

However, in volume terms it would still be well down on the four highest sales years from 2016-2019:

  • 2018: 201.4
  • 2019: 199.3
  • 2017: 193.9
  • 2016: 179.3

The next highest volume was 161.5 Bcm in 2013.