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Gazprom CEO puts 2020 gas output at 452 Bcm, down 10% after 'challenging' year

Highlights

Down from 500 Bcm produced in 2019

Production capacity exceeds output by 100 Bcm

Gas exports in 2020 to reach 179 Bcm

London — Russia's Gazprom expects to have produced a total of 452 Bcm of gas in 2020, CEO Alexei Miller said Dec. 24 in his pre-New Year speech, which would be a 10% decline on the 500 Bcm produced in 2019.

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According to a transcript of his speech, Miller said 2020 had been a "challenging" year, especially in the first half, but that markets had since stabilized.

"We see an upward trend in terms of supply. And we see that prices are also growing," Miller said.

He added that Gazprom's production capacity exceeds annual production by almost 100 Bcm, which implies a current output capacity of around 550 Bcm/year.

Miller said supplies to the domestic Russian market were expected to total some 223 Bcm this year, while exports are now seen at 179 Bcm, he said.

Miller did not specify in the export volume figure exactly which countries are being referred to, though traditionally Gazprom refers to exports as being to the Far Abroad (Europe and Turkey, but excluding the countries of the former Soviet Union).

The 179 Bcm figure cited by Miller could also include pipeline exports to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline.

On Dec. 22, Gazprom deputy chairman Famil Sadygov said Gazprom expects its European gas exports in 2021 to total 183 Bcm under its newly approved budget for the year.

It also said it expected supplies next year to China to double. Supplies to China in 2020 are seen at around 3.9 Bcm, so exports in 2021 could close in on 8 Bcm.

Export market

Miller said the 179 Bcm of exports would be the fifth-highest volume in Gazprom's history.

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

Miller said the situation with export supplies in the second half of the year had developed "very favorably."

"For example, in October we set an absolute historical record for deliveries to the Far Abroad for that month -- 17.4 Bcm," he said.

"And if we talk about the whole year, then the volumes of supplies to nine European countries were higher than in 2019. Among them are countries such as the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Turkey," he said.

"Europe will remain our very important gas supply partner for a long time to come."