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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Expects to Reach Export Record in 2007

Gazprom expects 2007 to be another record year for export revenues, it said Monday soon after tightening its monopoly hold on Russian gas resources by buying the Kovykta gas field and announcing a new pipeline.

"The price will be a bit lower this year but we still expect export revenues to hit a new record," deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev told a briefing.

Export revenues rose by 42.5 percent and reached $37.2 billion last year.

Medvedev said Russian gas accounted for 27 percent of consumption and 35 percent of imports in Central and Western Europe, while exports of natural gas made up 14.2 percent of the country's total export revenue last year.

Gazprom last week bought the Kovykta gas field from TNK-BP in what was widely seen as the latest step of a Kremlin campaign to reassert state control over the country's natural resources.

On Saturday, Gazprom and Italy's Eni unveiled a plan for a major new pipeline to take Russian gas under the Black Sea to Europe.

Gazprom had always previously said Kovykta would not be needed for exports until at least 2015, and Medvedev said the country's eastern gas program foresaw its development no earlier than 2017. But he suggested that date would move forward now that Gazprom holds the keys to the field.

"To talk of 2017 being confirmed as the start date would be completely wrong," he said, without specifying a deadline. "Putting your finger in the air is the worst habit," Medvedev added.

Medvedev also said Monday that Gazprom would seek to bring exports prices to China more into line with European levels. "The main principle Gazprom intends to stick to is that the effect of export prices to China should be at least comparable to supplies to Europe, after taking transportation costs into account," Medvedev said.

Gazprom has declined to disclose the prices under discussion, but Kommersant reported that China was refusing to pay more than $100 per 1,000 cubic meters.