As European nations which sanctioned the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine brace for a long, cold winter without Russian natural gas, Russia's state-controlled Gazprom energy company announced it will launch a new gas field in December.
According to the company’s Telegram channel on Monday, Gazprom is getting ready to launch the Kovykta gas field, which is crucial to Moscow's plans to boost gas sales to China and further alleviate any pain caused by Western sanctions.
The company also said that it sees its reserves replacement ratio exceeding 100% this year, suggesting it will add more reserves than it will use up.
Earlier this month, Gazprom released a video showing the dire consequences of a freezing winter. The two-minute clip titled “Winter will be Long”, shows Europe freezing due to the lack of Russian gas imports after the tensions caused by the Russian-Ukraine war.
In the video, a Gazprom worker turns off the gas supply, causing clouds of ice to engulf London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels.
The nations that have been hit hardest by Russia turning off the supply of natural gas, including Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands, have seen citizens charged with year-over-year surges in energy bills as high as 210 percent, even as officials warn of the possibility of rationing and blackouts this winter.
In the UK, schools are warning the increase in energy costs mean they can't buy new textbooks, while some residents reportedly have begun to abandon their pets. In Poland, officials say they could begin distributing anti-smog masks as residents consider burning trash for heat in winter. In Germany, residents are dusting off coal- and wood-burning ovens.
On Monday's operational meeting with the Chairman of PJSC Gazprom’s Management Board, it was announced that on “October 25 gas from the Kovykta field will be fed into the Kovykta-Chayanda trunk gas pipeline for pre-commissioning under load.”
The company added: “The field will be commissioned in the second half of December this year. The Kovykta field is a unique field, the largest in Eastern Siberia with recoverable reserves of 1.8 trillion cubic meters of gas and 65.7 mln tons of gas condensate. The launch of Kovykta significantly expands the resource base in the east of the country for supplying gas to Russian consumers and for export.”