Russia’s Gazprom breaks daily record for gas supply to China

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it set a new daily record the previous day for gas supplies to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline.

Gazprom did not provide a figure for the new daily record but said total gas exports to China via the pipeline amounted to 22.7 billion cubic metres in 2023, nearly 1.5 times more than the 15.4 bcm shipped in 2022.

Russia is ramping up supplies to China to compensate for the loss of most of its gas sales in Europe since the start of the war in Ukraine, which prompted Western states to slap sanctions on Moscow and cut their reliance on Russian energy.

Gazprom said the 2023 export figure was 700 million cubic metres – or 3.2% – more than it was contractually obliged to ship to China through the Power of Siberia. It restated that the pipeline will reach full export capacity of 38 bcm in 2025.

Russia is also in long-running talks about building a new Power of Siberia-2 pipeline to carry 50 bcm of natural gas a year from its northern Yamal region to China via Mongolia – almost as much as the now idle Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea that was damaged by explosions in 2022.

The project has gained urgency as Moscow aims to double its gas exports to China to make up for the collapse of its exports to Europe. But agreement on key issues, including pricing remains elusive.

Reuters calculations showed that Gazprom’s supplies to Europe fell 55.6% to 28.3 bcm in 2023, compared with peak levels of 175-180 bcm in 2018-19.

(Reporting by Filipp Lebedev and Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Louise Heavens)