Gazprom Eyes More Exports

LONDON -- Gazprom may increase gas supply to Europe by as much as 25 percent by 2020.

The company may raise exports to between 210 billion and 250 billion cubic meters per year in 2020, up from the current 200 bcm per year, the "maximum volume under existing contracts," said Vlada Rusakova, the head of Gazprom's strategic development department.

"It all depends on demand," she said Tuesday in London. The volume will include deliveries through pipelines and liquefied natural gas supplies.

Gazprom already supplies about a quarter of the gas consumed in Europe. That has prompted EU officials to express concern about the region's dependence on Russian gas. At the same time, Gazprom is developing plans to supply gas to China and South Korea.

"Europe has been and will be our main market," Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Tuesday in London. "We are not talking about shifting gas from one route to another. We are going to meet our obligations."

Gazprom aims to ship a record 157.7 bcm of gas to western Europe in 2008, deputy head of exports, Sergei Chelpanov, said Nov. 14.

Gazprom, Total and StatoilHydro plan to invest about $20 billion in the development of the Shtokman gas field. The field will pump its first gas in 2013 and ship LNG in 2014, Rusakova said. The field will reach its maximum 17 bcm per year output in 2020.

The partners plan to register a company in Zug, Switzerland, which will fund the project's due diligence study, Medvedev said. The companies expect to make a decision on the project's financing in late 2008 or early 2009, he added.