Russia’s Gazprom Moves Forward With New Mega Pipeline

05/05/2020 10:32 Natural Gas


The Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom has hit the wall with new European projects – Nord Stream 2 will be finished at some point in the second half of 2021, the exact route of TurkStream’s second line remains veiled in ambiguity and no other major gas importer voiced their interest in carrying out a new project. 

Thus, the only remaining prospect for growth lies in Eastern Asia and primarily China. Apart from a tangible gas market saturation in Europe, there are two main premises for a second-phase Gazprom expansion into China: its largely untapped Eastern Siberian gas reserves that would be very costly to move all across Russia onto European markets and the competitiveness of Russian pipeline gas on the Chinese market. 


Gazprom’s current China-bound project, the 38 BCm per year Power of Siberia (PoS) pipeline, started up in December 2019. Surprisingly, the Russian firm halted gas exports via PoS mid-March for a (previously non-indicated) two-week maintenance which turned out to be an elegant way of circumventing the massive demand drop in China. 


Even with another round of maintenance announced for autumn, Gazprom should be able to meet its export target for 2020 – 5 BCm, rising steadily to 10 BCm per year in 2021 and 15 BCm in 2022. By 2025 Power of Siberia should reach its nominal capacity and it is the next step after that currently exercises the minds of Russian policy makers and gas traders alike.


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Crude oil prices added momentum on Wednesday, following an increase in U.S. crude imports and a weekly decline in gasoline supplies that indicated an improvement in energy demand. Hence, Brent crude traded 0.5% higher at $43.29 a barrel. At the same time, WTI futures edged 0.7% higher at $40.90 a barrel.


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