MOSCOW Russian gas producer Gazprom said on Monday its gas exports to Germany hit a record high last year and have surged since the start of this year.
It said it exported 49.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to Germany in 2016, surpassing a record 45.3 bcm in 2015.
Germany is the biggest overseas market for state-run Gazprom, which currently supplies a third of Europe's gas.
That has raised concern in Europe that the region is too reliant on Russian gas, and those concerns have risen since pricing spats between Moscow and Kiev disrupted supplies in the wake of Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.
Low oil prices have help spur demand for Russian gas as the prices of Gazprom's long-term gas contracts are pegged to the price of oil with a six- to nine-month time lag.
The company said earlier this month its exports to countries outside the former Soviet Union had reached record highs since the start of 2017 due to cold weather in Europe.
On Monday it said its exports to Europe and Turkey increased by 25.5 percent in the first half of this month from a year earlier. Exports to Germany jumped 21 percent during the period.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Jack Stubbs; Editing by Susan Fenton)