Gazprom daily gas output in July lowest since 2008, analysis suggests

Gazprom daily gas output in July lowest since 2008, analysis suggests

Output last month of Russian firm was down 14% on June, sharpening fears Moscow could provoke energy crisis in Europe

Gazprom sign attached to office

The daily gas production of Russia’s Gazprom dropped in July to its lowest level since 2008, figures suggest, amid continued fears that Moscow could cause an energy crisis in Europe by shutting off the supply.

The state-owned energy firm pumped 774 million cubic metres a day last month – 14% less than in June – according to analysis by Bloomberg of data released on Monday.

It found the Russian gas export monopoly’s overall total output for the year was 262.4 billion cubic metres, a 12% fall compared with the same period last year.

The slowdown in production follows the deterioration in relations between Russia and the European Union since Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Ukraine in late February.

The Kremlin-controlled business cut gas supplies to the continent’s main pipeline to Europe – Nord Stream 1 – last week to just 20% of capacity.

Gazprom has claimed this is due to maintenance issues with its turbines, but the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said there was “no justifiable technical reason” for the reduction.

Amid fears that Putin could turn off the gas tap during the critical winter months of heavy energy usage, the EU last week backed a 15% voluntary reduction in gas use that would become mandatory if the Kremlin shuts down supplies.

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The slowdown in supplies to Europe contrasts with Gazprom’s claims about its supplies to China – which has been careful not to outright condemn Putin’s incursion into Ukraine.

The energy company said in a statement that supplies to China via its Power of Siberia pipeline were up by 61%, without providing further figures.

It said: “Exports of gas to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline are growing within the framework of a long-term bilateral contract between Gazprom and CNPC, growing 60.9% in seven months.

“Supplies in July in particular were regularly above the daily contract amount, hitting new all-time highs for daily.”