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Russia expects 5% growth of gas exports in 2015 — ministry

December 22, 2015, 9:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's domestic consumption is shrinking

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© Viktor Tolochko/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Energy expects a 5% growth of natural gas exports upon the results of 2015, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview published on Tuesday by Kommersant Daily.

In physical terms, the exports will go up to 190 billion cubic meters, he said.

"We also expect a growth of crude oil production," Novak went on, adding that Russian companies produced 526.7 mln tonnes in 2014 while the expected figure for this year was 533 mln tonnes.

"We’ve registered a certain fall of gas production, which stands at 633 bln cubic meters and is about 9 bcm lower than in 2014," he said. "Along with that, there’s been an increase of exports that are bound to go up to 190 bcm versus 181.2 bcm last year."

"The biggest factor behind the decrease [of output] is the shrinking domestic consumption, largely explained by climate, since even now in December the average temperature in Russia is 5.8 degrees Celsius higher than in 2014," Novak said.

His forecast points to an increase in the output and exports of electric power. "Production of electricity is expected to be bigger than in 2014 - 1,052 bln kWh versus 1,047 bln kWh, which means a 1% growth in spite of a warm winter," he said.

Novak said that, on the whole, the Russian energy sector showed encouraging performance in the outgoing year on the whole in spite of a complicated year that was marked by sanctions and volatile as well as low prices of oil.

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