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Gazprom expects to stay strong in Europe

June 6, 2013 at 7:51 AM

MOSCOW, June 6 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was positioned to play a larger role in the European natural gas market as demand increases over the long term.

Gazprom said its primary customers in the region are Germany, Italy and Turkey.

Gazprom said during a conference on its role in the European energy sector it expects the gap between domestic natural consumption and production to reach 5.1 trillion cubic feet by 2025.

"In this respect, Gazprom is obviously set to play an even bigger role as the lead supplier of natural gas to Europe and the holder of immense resources with proven records of reliable gas supplies for over 40 years," the company said in a Tuesday statement.

Europe's statistical office Eurostat reports the largest energy consumers in Europe are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. Eurostat reported in February that gross inland energy consumption declined 6 percent from 2008 to 2011.

The statistical office reported Wednesday gross domestic product declined by an average of 0.1 percent on average for the 27 members of the European Union during the first quarter of 2013, suggesting energy demand won't increase short term.

The EU is searching for ways to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector. A group working in Azerbaijan, led by British energy company BP, is mulling the best option for Azeri natural gas deliveries for Europe.

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