MOSCOW- Natural gas exports from Russia's Gazprom to Europe, including Turkey, fell 18% in the first half of the year to 78.94 billion cubic metres from 96.43 bcm a year earlier, the company reported on Thursday.
The sharp decline makes its harder for Gazprom to reach its target of more 166.6 bcm in exports this year, as gas demand has been depressed due the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Gazprom also faces rivalry from other sources of gas, such as sea-borne liquefied natural gas. Last year, Gazprom's gas exports to Europe, where it accounts for around 35% of the gas market, reached 199.2 bcm.
The company has said it expected European gas demand to start recovering from the third quarter.
Gazprom said on Thursday in its report under Russian Accounting Standards, that its gas supplies to China, started in December 2019, reached 1.57 bcm in January-June.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jan Harvey and David Evans) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +7 495 775 12 42;))