It is doubtful that there could be a less appropriate time to increase Russian gas exports to Europe, yet that is exactly what Gazprom is doing. Despite sanctions from both the U.S. and the EU, and Europe’s determination to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, Russia has been setting all-time highs in its exports throughout the past eight months. Although Gazprom has not yet surpassed its January 27, 2017 daily exports record of 636.4 MCm per day, it has been setting all-time summer season export records, with current gas flows oscillating within 580-590 MCm per day levels. What is the catch in this seemingly counterintuitive trend? It is a combination of three factors – the balancing of the interests of political and economic actors in Europe, Russia’s incredibly profitable gas pricing, and Gazprom’s new and improved marketing strategy? Gazprom has been slowly mending its ties with the European Union, […]