Gazprom pins growth to Asia sales
Russia's Gazprom energy giant said on Thursday it was staking its future on liquefied natural gas sales to Asia and a broader role in the electricity markets of Europe.
Company chief Alexei Miller also told an annual shareholder meeting that management was busy creating a "new Gazprom" that relied more heavily on production in the untapped regions of the Arctic.
Miller said Gazprom was now busy negotiating long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts with South Korea as well as China and India.
"The importance of this work is hard to overstate," Miller told the meeting.
Helping expand Asian markets "will boost export sales by a factor of at least 1.5", he said without providing a time frame.
Miller added that a part of Gazprom's strategy also depended on the power generation projects of long-standing clients such as Germany -- a nation that decided to close all nuclear reactors by 2022 in the wake of the Japanese accident.
"Gazprom's European power generation projects are getting a second wind," he said.
"The German market is the most promising," Miller said. "For these projects to succeed, Gapzrom has not only the gas but also the experience."
Miller said Gazprom intended to join new German electric power plant construction projects and would further "adjust" existing European gas delivery contracts to take new joint power generation into account.
The annual meeting came amid pressure posed by Gazprom's recent inability to match the world's growing dependence on shale and liquefied natural gas.
Gazprom has invested billions in two new pipelines to Europe but is struggling to expand its presence in Asia because of the prohibitive cost of new links and the inaccessibility of eastern Siberian gas.
Russia's biggest company is currently developing LNG on Sakhalin Island together with stakeholders from the United States and Japan.
© 2011 AFP