OREANDA-NEWS Russia produced a record 733 billion cubic meters of gas in 2018, gas exports grew by 10% compared to 2017. This was announced by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in an interview.

"If we talk about the gas industry, there were record volumes of gas produced - 733 billion cubic meters, while gas exports were increased by 20 billion, which is almost 10% to the level of 2017. These are very good indicators," he said.

In 2017, Russia produced 691.1 billion cubic meters of gas, thus, the growth rate in the current year can reach 6%.

Earlier, Novak reported that gas exports from Russia in 2018 will increase by 9.3% to 245 billion cubic meters.

As previously reported, "Gazprom" in January - November increased the gas production compared to the same period last year by 5.8%, to 451,1 billion cubic meters, the Chairman of the Board "Gazprom" Alexey Miller reported that the holding company has revised the production forecast for this year, raising the expected level to 495 billion cubic metres (previous forecast - 476 billion cubic meters). In 2017, the holding's production amounted to 472 billion cubic meters (an increase of 12.4% compared to the previous year.). Thus, in 2018, according to the new forecast, Gazprom may increase production by 4.8%.

Earlier it was reported that Gazprom's exports in 2018 and in the medium term will remain at the level of 190-200 billion cubic meters per year.

Novak noted that the beginning of 2019 will allow to assess the situation on the oil market.

"The first quarter will show what the real situation will be in the market," Novak said.

"It is difficult to predict the market, because the price is influenced not only by fundamental factors of supply and demand balance, but also by speculative factors and market players," the head of the Ministry of energy explained.