LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- BP in a statistic review said Russian natural gas production declined, just as the Kremlin holds out its reserves as a component of European energy security.
BP in the 64th edition of its statistical review of world energy said global natural gas production last year grew by 1.6 percent, which is nearly a full percentage point below the 10-year average.
Production from members of the European Union declined 9.8 percent to its lowest level since 1971, though in terms of overall volume, Russia's decline of 4.3 percent was among the largest drops in the world, the review found.
European economies rely on Russia for about 20 percent of their natural gas, though most of that runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine, where conflict and contractual disputes between Moscow and Kiev present risks to European energy security.
BP said pipeline shipments declined 6.2 percent globally for the largest decline on record, with Russian deliveries down 11.8 percent.
Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said Monday the European economy will be about 1.7 trillion cubic feet short of what it needs to keep the economy moving by 2025. Building Turkish Stream, a scaled down version of the broader South Stream pipeline network, could Europe get the energy it needs, he said.
BP is one of the companies behind the Shah Deniz gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan, which European leaders see as an alternative to Russia gas. Russian Foreign MinisterSergei Lavrov said European energy security may be at stake with its stance on alternative options.
Lawmakers in the United States, meanwhile, said free-trade deals with EU member states could open the door for shipments of liquefied natural gas drawn from shale deposits. More exports, they say, will extend U.S. economic leverage overseas and protect its allies against the economic whims of U.S. adversaries.
Medvedev, however, said that strategy is backed largely by "Washington dreamers."