Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Russia's Gazprom to slash production due to global recession
05-22-2009 - The Moscow News - Gazprom has given a pessimistic forecast for the production of natural gas in 2009, stating volumes may fall up to 18 percent. In 2008, Russian state-owned gas giant OAO Gazprom produced 549.7 billion cubic meters of gas, Gazprom’s spokesman Alexander Ananenkov told Interfax Friday. The planned production of gas for 2009 was reported at 492 billion cubic meters (a 10.5 percent decrease compared with 2008). But according to Ananenkov, taking into consideration the market conditions, production volumes may range from 450 to 510 billion cubic meters. Sources close to Gazprom earlier suggested a fall in production, but the level voiced by Ananenkov is by far the lowest estimate. It has been reported that due to the shrinking gas exports and the lowering gas prices, Gazprom’s profits in 2009 are expected to shrink, while its customers choose to work with other suppliers. Gazprom’s main rival StatoilHydro has on the other hand reported growth of production. Its net profits have doubled due to attractive prices, the company says. Gazprom shares fell more than twice from 364 to 165 rubles year on year (and the Russian Ruble lost almost 30 percent of its value over the same period of time). In the past four months, Gazprom showed a 20.8 percent decline in production of gas and exports cut in half.