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LONDON, February 11. /TASS/. Anti-Russia sanctions have shored up Gazprom positions, James Henderson, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said on Wednesday at the International Petroleum Week (IP Week) in London.
"Gazprom’s financial positions are stable, while its gas can be extremely competitive," he said. "The company has low net debt and adequate cash flows," Henderson added.
Gazprom export monopoly was "pressured by independent companies, particularly in the area of liquefied natural gas (LNG)," the analyst said, adding that anti-Russia sanctions "strengthened Gazprom’s local positions when its political value rose."
He also said that Gazprom will have to play the leading role in Russia's new export strategy, with a diversified focus to Asian markets.
"The company is gradually adjusting to the fast changing market situation and it has rather strong positions for the future," the analyst said.
In 2014, European countries imported "more than 30% of Russian gas", he said, adding that "the long-term nature of the contracts means that this relationship will remain the same for many years."
Being aware of the fact that Europe’s attitude to Russian gas is different now, Russia will secure itself against falling sales in Europe and shift its focus to the east, and Gazprom will have a key role here, James Henderson said.