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Russian Gas Exports Sink by 25% Despite Rise in Oil Sales


Russia announced on Monday that its gas exports plummeted by 25% in 2022 after the Ukraine conflict brought turmoil to Moscow's ties with key buyers in Europe.

The Kremlin's decision to invade Ukraine in February last year was met with a flurry of sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, despite the fact that Europe was heavily reliant on Russia to meet its energy needs.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced the figures and attributed the fall in gas exports to "the refusal of European countries to buy Russian gas."

The European Union, once the largest buyer of Russian gas, has drastically reduced its imports during 2022.

In response to the Russian intervention in Ukraine, Germany scrapped the approval for the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have deepened European reliance on Russian gas supplies.

In September explosions on sections of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines under the Baltic Sea saw Washington and Moscow trade blame over the incident.

Novak, writing in the specialist journal "Energy Policy," also attributed the fall in exports to what he called the "sabotage" of the pipelines.

"Gas production in 2022 totaled 673.8 bcm. Exports decreased by 25.1% to 184.4 bcm," Novak said.

He said that while gas deliveries to Europe had dropped off sharply, those to new buyers, in particular China, were rising rapidly.

"The record amount of gas supplied per day by Russia through the Power of Siberia pipeline was beaten more than once," Novak said.

"As a result, gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia increased by 48% and reached a historical maximum of 15.4 bcm."

He also said that Russian oil exports had increased 7.6% in 2022 compared to a year earlier.

Novak said that going forward Russia was working to pivot its energy exports to countries that had not imposed sanctions on Moscow or criticized the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine. 

"Today we continue to seek and find new markets. This year, we plan to export more than 80% of oil exports and 75% oil products to friendly countries," Novak said.

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