Moscow, February 7 - Neftegaz.RU. Gazprom aims to further increase its 35% market share in Europe, amid higher natural gas demand and expected lower production at key western European natural gas producers, according to a senior Gazprom manager.
The Russian company sees opportunities to lift its market share in Europe even more amid an expected decline in production in the North Sea and the planned shutdown of a huge gas field in the Netherlands, Reuters quoted Elena Burmistrova, Director Gen. of Gazprom Export.
After years of debates and measures to curb production at the Groningen gas field, the Dutch government decided in March last year that output at Groningen would be terminated by 2030, with a reduction by two-thirds until 2021-2022 and another cut after that. The authorities have already limited production from the field because of the earthquakes it causes, but they decided last year that the risks and costs were no longer acceptable.
Gazprom’s preliminary estimates show that the company’s share on the European market was 34 % in 2017, while the share in 2018 could have hit 35 %, Burmistrova said in remarks published by Reuters. With North Sea production gradually falling, «the space for Russian gas is being freed up», the manager said.
Gazprom is not setting targets for its market share in Europe as it doesn’t want to sound too «aggressive», according to Burmistrova. Several European countries, including the Baltic states and Poland, as well as the EU, have expressed concern about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool.
Burmistrova’s take is that Gazprom has proven it is a reliable natural gas supplier and it «will always be competitive against American LNG», to which counties like Poland and Lithuania look for reducing their dependence on Russian supplies.