Gazprom to hike Europe exports, prices: report

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Russia's gas giant Gazprom plans to boost its European exports by nine percent this year and hike prices by 15 percent, reports said Friday, quoting a company presentation to investors.

Gazprom plans to export 151.5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2011, up nine percent from last year, Russian agencies cited meeting participants as saying.

The price of gas for Europe could also be increased from $306 to $352 per thousand cubic meters, according to the reports.

The gas monopoly's exports dropped by 1.5 percent in 2010, Gazprom deputy chairman Valery Golubev said earlier this week.

Gazprom had said at the end of 2009 that it planned to export some 160.8 billion cubic meters of gas in 2010, or 13 percent more than the previous year when energy consumption was dampened by the economic crisis.

Production meanwhile increased by 10 percent in 2010 to 508.6 billion cubic meters and the company is hoping to further increase it to as much as 519 billion cubic meters, Gazprom vice president Alexander Ananenkov said.

"I think ... that the production volume could be 515-519 billion cubic meters in 2011," he said, according to the reports.

Gazprom controls a fourth of the world's gas reserves and is responsible for about eight percent of Russia's Gross Domestic Product. It provides a quarter of all the gas consumed by Europe.

© 2011 AFP

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