A working meeting took place between Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.
Alexey Miller briefed Dmitry Medvedev on the readiness of Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System to operate during peak consumption in the 2018–2019 autumn/winter period.
Particular attention was paid to the Company’s performance in the field of gas production and transmission, including the results for the past nine and a half months and the year-end estimates.
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Dmitry Medvedev: Mr. Miller, how is Gazprom doing? What have you achieved in this period of nearly nine months? We’re now well into the autumn season. How are your preparations for winter going?
Alexey Miller: Esteemed Mr. Medvedev, Gazprom’s preparations for the upcoming winter have been accompanied by a rising demand for gas both domestically and abroad.
In the domestic market, Gazprom’s supplies to consumers from the national gas transmission system in the first nine and a half months of 2018 grew by 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas against the same period of 2017. It is a 4.5 per cent increase from last year.
The export figures are even better. Our deliveries to Europe over the course of nine and a half months rose by 8 billion cubic meters of gas against the same period of 2017. There is no doubt that, at the year’s end, we will set a new record for gas deliveries to Europe. We will exceed the level of 200 billion cubic meters after last year’s record of 194.4 billion. Moreover, we are nearing 205 billion cubic meters per year. Those are the maximum annual amounts under all of our contractual obligations for supplying gas to Europe. Without a doubt, this achievement creates a new frame of reference for further cooperation in the gas sector with our consumers in Europe.
Accordingly, with demand on the rise, Gazprom has ramped up its production. As of today, Gazprom’s production rate has grown by 24.5 billion cubic meters, or 6.8 per cent. We are coming close to producing 500 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
It should be noted that the preparations for winter were made in the summer period amid the export negotiations on the daily amounts, which, in essence, were as large as winter exports instead of the usual summer amounts. This is linked to a decline in gas production in Europe. One should above all mention the Groningen field in the Netherlands. Generally, there is a decrease in gas production across all main production centers. The daily average gas exports in the summer of 2018 grew by 10.5 per cent against the 2015–2016 winter period and by 47.4 per cent against the 2014–2015 winter. Essentially, while exporting gas this summer, Gazprom operated in the winter mode.
We have completed 11 sets of preventive maintenance and repair operations within the gas supply system. A total of 72.2 billion cubic meters of gas has been injected into Russian UGS facilities. Our potential maximum daily deliverability is at an all-time high of 812.5 million cubic meters of gas. It is an improvement of 7.2 million cubic meters over last year. In the past eight years, Gazprom boosted its daily deliverability as of the start of the withdrawal period by 31 per cent.
In conclusion, Gazprom is ready to operate under peak loads in the coming winter.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is crucial, because our winters are so harsh. Despite some changes in climate, one should still expect both frost and a prolonged period of cold weather, which is why it is important to provide households with heat, a task largely dependent on Gazprom.