Source Pravda.Ru

Gazprom intends to increase gas exports to Western Europe

Gazprom is planning to export 145 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Western and Central Europe by 2005 and 195 billion cubic metres by 2010 (in 2002 this figure was just 127 billion). As the company's press office reports, this was announced yesterday by Deputy CEO Alexander Ryazanov while speaking in Moscow.

According to Mr Ryazanov, current transportation routes across Ukraine and Slovakia (Soyuz pipeline), Ukraine and Moldova (to the Balkan transport corridor) and the Yamal-Europe and Blue Stream pipelines must be modernized and require maintenance work. He also said that Gazprom is aiming to raise the transportation capacity of the Blue Stream pipeline, modernise and extend the transportation network in Ukraine and construct a North European gas pipeline. There are also plans to extend the Yamal-Europe pipeline which carries gas to Europe via Belarus. Gazprom transported 22 billion cubic metres of gas across Belarus in 2002. 7 billion cubic metres were transported along Belarussian pipelines while the other 15 billion cubic metres of gas were transported along the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which belongs to Russia. This volume of gas export across Belarus is expected to rise this year by 20-25%.

Gazprom was founded in 1993 after the privatization of the government-owned Gazprom, which had been created on the basis of the Soviet Gas Ministry. The government owns a 38.37% stake, foreign shareholders own 11.5%, Strotransgaz owns 5.8% and 44.28% are shared between 500 thousand private shareholders. Net profit in 2002 came to USD 3.98 billion, an increase of 21.1% year-on-year.