In a statement, Gazprom also said that winters in both Russia and Europe were now lasting into March, meaning it needed to prioritize gas storage injections this summer.
This, it said, was «well understood» by its European colleagues.
Gazprom said that supplies in August to the domestic market and to the Far Abroad (Europe and Turkey minus the countries of the former Soviet Union) had reached a «new peak» compared with previous years.
It compared the situation this month to what would be typical in the winter.
This, it said:
- means an increased load on the gas supply system during the traditional season of scheduled preventive maintenance and preparation for the autumn-winter period, which cannot be paused
- The practice of the last few years both in Russia and in Europe suggests that the winter period has also shifted to the spring month of March
- Therefore, now, in the summer, the priority is to pump gas into underground storage facilities, since the volume of available resources by March must be at a high level for confident passage of this difficult period
Gazprom also said it would also increase the maximum daily withdrawal capacity to 847.9 million cu m/d.
The targets are only slightly up on the levels achieved ahead of the past winter, which were 72.32 Bcm and 843.3 million cu m/d, respectively.
Those levels were already record highs, Gazprom said, adding it withdrew a record 60.6 Bcm from its Russian storage sites during the past winter.
That would have left it with just 11.7 Bcm in stock.