Novatek Yamal LNG /

Russia’s ministry of economic development predicts a fall in gas prices and stable export growth for the coming years. LNG supplies are expected to increase by leaps and bounds after 2022.

The ministry’s forecast was made in preparation for the Russian budget for 2022-24 and includes predictions for the price of gas in the coming years. The average price of supplies of this fuel to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States is expected to be $200.7 per 1,000 cubic metres in 2021, but to fall to $188.3 in 2022, to $179.9 in 2023 and to $175.2 per 1,000 cubic metres in 2024.

Russian gas exports are to grow by 3.5 per cent to 206.2 bcm in 2021, 238.4 in 2022, 240.5 in 2023 and 250.5 bcm in 2024. An increasing proportion of supply is to be LNG: 29.9 million tonnes in 2021, similarly in 2022, 42.3 million tonnes in 2023 (up 41.5 per cent) and 52 million tonnes in 2024.

The so-called “Yamal contract” for pipeline deliveries of Russian gas to Poland ends in October 2022. Warsaw will consider whether and on what terms to import gas from Gazprom, with which it has historically had numerous problems. The Russians will increasingly offer liquefied gas alongside traditional pipeline supplies.

An analysis by the ICIS centre assumes that if both legs of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are built, there will be no need for the Yamal pipeline in Poland either. On the other hand, if Nord Stream 2 is not operational by 2022, the Polish and Ukrainian routes will remain in use. LNG could then be an increasingly important alternative to pipeline supply for the Russians. The Nord Stream 2 project has faced numerous obstacles and even if it is built within the new timeline (end of 2021), it may not start delivering then.

By Martin Chomsky (photo: Novatek)