Gazprom sees European gas glut in 2021, blames U.S. LNG

FILE PHOTO: Gas pipelines are pictured at the Atamanskaya compressor station, facility of Gazprom's Power Of Siberia project outside the far eastern town of Svobodny, in Amur region, Russia November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM expects excess supplies in Europe's natural gas market to continue in 2021, the head of the company's exporting arm said on Monday, blaming exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.

Gazprom has seen its share of the European gas market, where it makes 55% of sales revenue, decline amid sluggish demand and competition from other supplies, such as LNG.

“The majority of challenges and threats are still here. One of them is general oversupply, which we are likely to see in 2021 as well,” Elena Burmistrova said, as flows of seaborne LNG to Europe increase.

“U.S. LNG suppliers have unbalanced the European market and failed to stabilise it,” she said.

Gazprom expects its gas exports to Europe to be at least 170 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2020, compared with 199 bcm in 2019.

Burmistrova said LNG supplies to Europe in January to June increased by almost 10 bcm, or 17% year-on-year, driving gas prices to all-time lows.

She also called the threat of more U.S. sanctions against the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project an attempt to “oust Russia by using non-market instruments”.

Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter