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28 February 2008

Russian gas and the UK: 10 things you need to know

By Aloysius McDowell

Currently Russia supplies 25 per cent of Europe’s gas; Gazprom aims to control a 20 per cent UK market share by 2015

Gazprom already has over 10,000 direct British customers – sales volumes have quadrupled in the past two years

Russia only supplies 2 per cent of UK gas, but this supply is essential if the UK is to meet its needs

Gazprom owns 10 per cent of the Bacton-Zeebrugge Interconnector, the UK’s second-biggest gas import pipeline

Disputes between Russia and Ukraine affect British customers: gas supply problems in spring 2006 cost UK gas customers an extra £1bn

Gazprom’s wholesale gas division in the UK had sales of £1.5bn in 2007 and profits in excess of £30m

In 2007, Gazprom expressed interest in buying a half share of any large UK power company that may come up for sale. Since 2006, there has been speculation that Gazprom will bid for Centrica, British Gas’s parent company

Russia is the world’s largest holder and producer of gas reserves

Gazprom is chaired by Dmitry Medvedev, who is expected to replace Putin as Russia’s president. More than half its shares are owned by the Russian state

Gazprom moved into the UK energy market in 2006, buying Britain’s largest privately owned retailer Pennine Natural Gas, which supplies commercial customers including Debenhams and William Hill

Research by Alyssa McDonald

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