With the Russian general election taking place this weekend Marina Tsygankova, senior gas research analyst at Thomson Reuters, takes a look at how the Russian gas industry has performed during President Putin's latest term in office:
“The position of Russia as gas supplier in Europe has strengthened since Vladimir Putin returned to office as President of Russia in 2012. Moving away from oil indexation towards more hub indexation in Russia stimulated higher demand for Russian gas. Concerns over heightened competition between Russian gas and US LNG in Europe have not materialized yet as US LNG delivers to the higher premium markets outside Europe. Russia has taken on the role of the largest and most flexible supplier to Europe, benefiting from a rapid decrease in Dutch production, limited upside to UK and Norwegian output and the premium-priced Asian market attracting the bulk of global LNG.
As Russian exports increased, absolute volume of transit via Ukraine in 2017 was as strong as in 2012. Given that Russian gas supply via Yamal Europe pipeline and Nord Stream is running at the capacity now, any further increase in Russian exports will mean higher Ukrainian transit unless Nord Stream 2 is built.”