The bloc will face serious problems in the upcoming heating season, says Russia’s former energy minister.
Gas prices in the EU will remain high for several more years, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and former Energy Minister Aleksander Novak said on Friday, warning of serious problems across Europe as the autumn-winter period begins.
Speaking at the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, he said the bloc needs to pump out another 40-45 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas before the start of the heating season, an amount equivalent to about four months of Russian supplies. .
In 2021, the EU imported 155 bcm of natural gas from Russia, which represents around 45% of its gas imports and around 40% of its total gas consumption.
Speaking about the current state of the Russian oil and gas industry, Novak said that March was the most difficult for the industry, but since then companies have adapted to the changes.
Gas production may decline by around 4-5% this year to 730-750 billion cubic meters, Novak noted, suggesting, however, that the drop would not be felt too much as gas production was at record levels. past year.
Russia has also started supplying more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU, it added.
Speaking at the forum on Thursday, Novak reported that up to 95% of Russian gas supplied to the bloc is now paid for in rubles, as most customers have accepted Moscow’s payment terms that were introduced at the end of March.
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