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Statoil cannot replace Russian gas for EU in long term — report

BERLIN, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Norway is unable to replace Russian gas supplies for Europe in the long run, CEO of Statoil Helge Lund energy holding said in an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung published on Tuesday.

Norway can raise the amount of its supplies for the short term to cover any possible disruptions of gas pumping to the EU from Russia, but it will not cope in the longer term, Lund said.

The demand of the EU countries for gas imports is growing because their own gas output is gradually falling, he said.

Ukraine, the main transit hub for Russian gas to Europe, may run short of 6 billion cubic meters of gas during the next winter season as Kiev has not reached gas agreements with Russia, Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Andriy Kobolev said earlier. This may undermine supplies to Europe, Russian gas giant Gazprom fears, because gas stealing is not ruled out.