Gazprom sees Europe gas sales plummet
Moscow, November 3, 2012
Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom reported sales declines in Europe and its home market, showing the importance of its strategy to expand into Asia.
Gazprom's sales of gas to Europe and other countries fell 0.5 per cent to 416 billion roubles ($13.3 billion) in the first six months of the year, while sales to Russia fell 10 per cent to 120 billion roubles.
The trend has continued well into October. Exports to Europe, where the company covers a quarter of the continent's gas needs, fell 8 per cent for the first 10 months of the year, to 113.1 billion cubic metres.
Europe has been the major gas market for Russia and the Soviet Union since it started to export gas by pipeline to West Germany in the 1970s.
Gazprom's net profit fell to 150.8 billion roubles in April to June from 303.7bn a year earlier, beating a forecast of 139 billion by analysts.
But economic and financial woes have eaten into European demand in recent years, and the region's utilities are seeking to lessen their reliance on supplies from Gazprom, whose prices are higher than in the spot market.-Reuters