Tuesday, April 03, 2012 -
Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom acquired 6.47 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from the Central Asian republics in the first quarter of 2012, Moscow energy authorities said on Monday.
The gas monopoly will resell the purchased gas to the European Union, the central department of the fuel and energy sector in Moscow said, as reported by the Itar-Tass news agency.
The energy authorities said the volume purchased for resale in Europe was slightly less, by just 212 million cubic meters, than the comparable period in 2011.
But Gazprom’s purchases of Central Asian gas in March for spot sales in Europe exactly matched last year’s figures of 2.68 bcm, Itar-Tass cited the report as saying.
Europe purchased the Russian gas under spot contracts whereby the payment and delivery of the commodity takes place on a spot date, usually two business days after the agreement.
The European bloc relies on Russia for one-fourth of its gas supplies, while seven EU nations are almost fully reliant on Russian gas.
The EU is intent on reducing Moscow’s grip as middleman by expanding a so-called Southern Energy Corridor of pipelines to source gas directly from Central Asia. However, its flagship Nabucco pipeline project has been beset with problems and is yet to go into operation.