MOSCOW, June 2 (UPI) -- Russian natural gas company Gazprom expects 2013 production levels to reach levels not seen since the onset of the global financial meltdown, an executive said.
The global financial crisis resulted in declining energy demand, prompting Gazprom to scale back its investments and production.
A March earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan crippled the region's nuclear sector, forcing Japan to import more liquefied natural gas to address the energy deficit. That, coupled with modest economic recovery in 2011, means the Russian gas monopoly has to increase production.
"The global LNG market is tightening rapidly," analysis from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch was cited by The Wall Street Journal as stating. "In our view, the global gas glut is set to disappear quickly."
Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Ananenkov said his company expects 2013 production to reach pre-recession levels.
He estimated 2013 production at 1.9 trillion cubic feet, up from the 1.8 trillion cubic feet expected for this year.
Gazprom supplies 25 percent of Europe's natural gas. Demand in Russia is also on the rise, he added.