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International

Gazprom warns Europe of gas shortage

12:00, Saturday, 10 February, 2018
Gazprom warns Europe of gas shortage

Europe will face a gas shortage and price spike as soon as the next decade if it doesn’t decide quickly to boost imports from Russia as gas purchases from the United States or Qatar fail to match demand, Kremlin energy giant Gazprom told Reuters.

The Trump administration has said it intends to level the playing field in energy markets by offering U.S. gas to Europe and Asia, citing a need to reduce what it calls the market-distorting power of actors such as Russia and OPEC.

Russian gas supplies to Europe have become increasingly politicized since Moscow cut supplies to Ukraine in the last decade amid pricing disputes and after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The West has accused Russia of using gas as a political weapon. Moscow has responded by blaming the West for blocking its new pipeline projects for political rather than economic reasons.

The warning about a possible supply crunch comes as Gazprom prepares to start large-scale deliveries to China in a move reminiscent of Russia’s oil strategy, under which Moscow became a major supplier to Beijing at the expense of Europe.

Gazprom’s deputy head Alexander Medvedev said the company would have enough supplies for both Europe and Asia but it was time for Europe to decide where it should source gas as the continent’s demand was rising and its production shrinking.

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