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Three decisions crucial to Russian gas

The volume of exports hangs on crucial events at home and abroad

It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Russian gas exports to Europe may well hinge on the outcome of events in 2019, in particular the progress of three pipeline-related negotiations. Meantime Gazprom's record exports to the continent in 2017 are likely to be surpassed in 2018, with total volumes probably exceeding 20bn cm, with the consequence that capacity in the existing pipeline system is reaching its limit. This is particularly true in the winter months when daily demand is at its peak. If a cold weather event such as March 2018's "Beast from the East" is repeated in 2019, then the system may struggle to cope. As a result, the negotiations around the future of Nord Stream 2,

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