Gazprom, the Russian natural gas producer is seeking to increase gas supplies to Europe and Turkey by 2% to record levels in 2016, ahead of an upcoming meeting with investors, Bloomberg reported. The company also projects a more ambitious growth in 2018, according to its non-public budget obtained by Bloomberg.

The gas exports to most of the EU countries and Turkey is seen to rise to the level of 162.6bcm this year, up from 159.4bcm in 2015, with an estimated surge of supply volumes at 166.1bcm in 2017 and 166.3bcm in 2018. Most of the increase is to come in flows through the Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

According to energy analysts, Gazprom is likely to face emerging competition within two years, when the currently tumbled EU domestic gas production may recover, and Moscow will be forced to cut its supplies. Similarly, Russia needs a new marketing model in the European gas market to be able to compete with liquefied natural gas (LNG), especially amid a possible hike in supplies from the US seen after 2018, the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies stated earlier. However, Gazprom said in a statement that US LNG exports to Europe – expected to start in Q1 of 2016 – will cost European countries more than gas purchased on the spot market, Russia Beyond the Headlines informed.