Gazprom PJSC is in talks to ramp up natural gas sales in the UK as coal plants are shuttered and the nation’s biggest storage site is closed for good. “We see an appetite from major players in the UK for additional volume of contracted gas,” Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said in an interview in Prague on Thursday, declining to provide further details on negotiations. “Our supplies to the UK increased substantially in the course of the last two years.”
The world’s biggest gas producer sees an opportunity to sell more of the fuel after Centrica Plc announced it would close its Rough storage facility in the North Sea and the nation plans to stop using coal-fired plants by the middle of next decade. Medvedev expects Britain to increase imported volumes by 8 billion to 12 billion cubic meters a year by 2025. Extra Russian gas in the UK could drive down prices by boosting competition and may help ease the sting of losing Rough, according to Nick Campbell, an energy risk manager at Inspired Energy in Preston, England.
“Technically it is encouraging,” he said. “Russian pipeline gas would offer greater flexibility than LNG delivery with gas field production being able to flex to meet demand quicker than sending a tanker from the U.S. East Coast and/or Qatar.”