Gazprom says net profits slumped in 2020 amid pandemic, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld | #firefox | #firefoxsecurity

Moscow: Russian energy giant Gazprom said Thursday its net profits slumped last year by a factor of nine compared to the previous year owing to the fallout from the global pandemic as demand and prices slumped.

The state-controlled group scored net profits of 135 billion rubles (1.496 billion euros, 1.81 billion at current rates) in 2020 compared with 1.203 trillion rubles in 2019.

Meanwhile sales dropped 17.4 percent to 6.321 trillion rubles.

Exports of Russian gas to Europe — Russia includes Turkey in the measure — were down 12.1 percent at 174.87 billion cubic metres.

In financial terms that equates to a 27 percent fall to 1.811 trillion rubles ($24.2 billion).

Gazprom supplies just over a third of the European Union’s gas and derives from the bloc the bulk of its profits.

Its plans to lift sales to Europe faces uncertainty given the controversy surrounding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russian and Germany.

The 10-billion-euro ($11-billion) pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea, which is almost complete, is set to double capacity for Russian natural-gas shipments to Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

But Washington and several European countries oppose the project, arguing it will increase German and EU dependence on Russia for critical gas supplies.

The pipeline also avoids Ukraine, depriving Kiev of gas transit fees.

Gazprom’s Power of Siberia gas pipeline, launched in 2019, meanwhile delivered 4.1 billion cubic metres of gas to China last year, Gazprom said, helping to assuage soaring Chinese gas demand.

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