Russia Gas Output at Highest-Ever Level

Russia Gas Output at Highest-Ever Level
Russia Gas Output at Highest-Ever Level

Russia’s natural gas production rose to its highest level last year, driven by increasing sales to Europe and rising domestic demand.

Government data published on Tuesday showed that output jumped 7.9% to beat a 2011 record, Bloomberg reported.

With a pipeline of projects, including plans to expand into China and new liquefied natural gas plants, the country may close the gap on the US, which leapfrogged Russia to the top spot in global production of the fuel nine years ago.

"Russia needs to strengthen its position in the global gas market, as it is considered a leading global energy power," President Vladimir Putin said last month.

Already the world’s largest exporter of the fuel, the nation is working to boost output with new LNG plants stretching from the Baltic region to the Pacific coast.

That will pit the country against the biggest producers of the super-chilled fuel, including Qatar and Australia.

Russia is also working to keep shipments to Europe near record levels this year as state-run Gazprom PJSC, the continent’s biggest supplier, plans to start pipeline exports to China in late 2019.

Gazprom meets more than a third of Europe’s demand for natural gas and the nation’s most lucrative market was worth $37 billion in revenue last year. Its increased sales helped boost overall production to 690.5 billion cubic meters last year, exceeding the 2011 record by 2.9%.

As a result of the shale gas revolution, the US became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2009, and has kept the crown for most of the time according to official data from the two nations. US producers pumped about 626 billion cubic meters of dry gas in the first 10 months of 2017, the US Energy Information Administration's December data showed. This was 11 % higher than Russia's for the same period.

Russia has resources to increase its LNG production by almost tenfold to about 100 million tons by 2035, led by the privately-owned Novatek PJSC in the Arctic, according to the nation’s Energy Ministry.


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