Gazprom has revealed record third-quarter profits, with its performance powered by soaring gas prices amid a deepening global energy crisis.
The Kremlin-backed gas giant reported net profits of £5.87bn between Julyand September, with expectations of even higher earnings in the last three months of the year.
The record surpasses its previous highest quarterly profit of £5.41bn from the first quarter of 2019.
It also follows company losses of around £3bn in third quarter of 2020, when energy prices plummeted during multiple lockdowns across developed economies.
Supplies have tightened as pandemic have eased across Europe, causing prices to skyrocket in Gazprom’s key market.
The average gas price in Europe has jumped to $313.40 per 1,000 cubic metres in the third quarter, from $117.20 a year earlier.
The gas giant expects prices to rise further over the winter.
Gazprom’s deputy chief executive Famil Sadygov said: “The price of our supplies to Europe will be significantly higher in the fourth quarter, which will have a positive impact on the full-year results.”
Following the results, Gazprom shares went up 4.5 per cent on the Moscow Exchange at close of play on Monday.
Meanwhile, gas futures linked to TTF were up 7.6 per cent at €95.25 per megawatt hour. They reached a record of nearly €118 in October, having started the year below €20.
Russia has faced sustained criticism during the current crisis, with accusations from the International Energy Agency that it has not supplied enough gas to alleviate shortages across the continent.
The country is responsible for over a third of Europe’s natural gas supplies.
President Vladimir Putin dismissed the accusations as “politically motivated blather” last month.
He said Russia is not using gas as a weapon to put pressure on European economies, despite four days of reverse flows at the Yamal-Europe pipeline earlier this month.
Instead, he blamed Europe’s problems on its lack of energy storage.
There have been warnings of blackouts this winter in Europe amid supply shortages, especially after certification for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was suspended.
The crisis has also intensified after the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant, and threats from Belarus’ President to cut off gas flows after the EU imposed more sanctions this month.
Meanwhile Belarus’ president has threatened to cut off supplies flowing through the country after the EU imposed more sanctions.