February 2010 Vol. 237 No. 2


The 2009 Sino-Russian Gas Deals: Cementing a Strategic Partnership?

The pressures of the financial and economic crisis have lead to a slump in Europe’s natural gas demand. This has caused a sizeable reduction in Russian gas imports – up to 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) in Western Europe alone – with Germany’s and Italy’s purchase reduction rates (44% and 34% respectively) being responsible for nearly half that drop. The loss in exports is significantly affecting Gazprom’s balance sheet and in conjunction with reduced Russian domestic consumption leading to excess capacity, forcing the gas major to reconsider its export dependency on the European gas market. Unsurprisingly, the Russian gas monopoly has lately t

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