Energy giant Gazprom is reportedly ready to boost supplies of natural gas to Europe in a bid to help ease rising gas prices in the continent.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov was cited by Interfax news agency as saying that state-owned energy firm Gazprom is interested in more European gas supply contracts.

Peskov noted: “Gazprom is ready. Moreover, it has already covered all the additional (supply) requests.”

The surge in European gas prices to record levels is driven by a strong demand recovery and tighter-than-expected supply in addition to weather-related factors.

Separately, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) had recommended Gazprom increase the sale of natural gas on the stock exchange to promote the fair gas value.

Last week, global crude oil prices surged for a third consecutive week to a near three-year high as energy companies withdrew large amounts of crude inventories.

The move comes in the wake of global output disruptions, mostly from the US Gulf Coast, which was affected by Hurricane Ida in late August 2021.

On 24 September 2021, Brent futures rose $0.84, or 1.1%, to reach $78.09 a barrel whereas the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude surged $0.68, or 0.9%, to settle at $73.98.

Although Russia said it would remain a ‘reliable’ energy supplier to global markets, Gazprom had been accused of withholding gas supplies to Europe.

Earlier this week, International Energy Agency (IEA) called on Russia to boost gas supply to Europe as the continent is facing an energy crunch.

The call followed Russia’s decision to not increase gas exports in October in Europe.

The global energy watchdog said: “The IEA believes that Russia could do more to increase gas availability to Europe and ensure storage is filled to adequate levels in preparation for the coming winter heating season.”