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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Warns of Fuel Crisis

Gazprom on Thursday called for the state to step in to prevent a repeat of last year's winter fuel crisis, which it said was likely because of a poor state of readiness in the regions.

Gazprom, which supplies one-quarter of Europe's gas needs, had to restrict deliveries to some of its European customers last year to ensure there were sufficient supplies for domestic users who were enduring an exceptionally cold winter.

"The unsatisfactory current level of reserve fuel stocks in the regions causes serious concern. There is a threat of a repeat of last winter's events, when many regions turned out to be unprepared for a sharp decline in temperatures," Gazprom said in a statement.

"The situation that has developed requires immediate intervention by state regulatory bodies."

Gazprom had to briefly cut its gas supplies on the route to Hungary by 20 percent in January, and said it could also reduce flows to Italy and Austria, although it said it has never fallen below its contractual obligations.

It soon restored supplies to 7 percent above contractual volumes to European customers and 40 percent more than the contracted amount to Russia.

The company said it planned to significantly raise investment in 2007 -- to 531.78 billion rubles ($19.82 billion) compared with 373.14 billion rubles planned this year. It also slightly increased its 2006 production forecast by 3 billion cubic meters to 551 bcm.