The Russian natural gas covers 80 percent of consumption in ten European states among which Bulgaria, Serbia and the Republic of Moldova, whereas Romania is among the least dependent states in the region, along with the UK or France. Last year, about 20 percent of Romania’s natural gas consumption was provided by imports from Russia, the rest coming from local production. For Serbia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Belarus, the imports from Russia provide fully or almost fully the necessary of natural gas according to Gazprom and Morgan Stanley data, quoted by The Guardian. In the Republic of Moldova and Lithuania, the Russian gas provides almost 90 percent of consumption, and Poland and Slovakia depend on imports for 80 percent of their consumption. Russia provides more than 40 percent of the necessary of natural gas of Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Austria, Greece and Estonia, according to the quoted data. On the other hand, Belgium does not use Russian gas at all, whereas the Netherlands and Switzerland use 10 percent Russian gas, the UK, Romania and France use about 20 percent and in Italy, about 30 percent of consumption is provided by Russian natural gas.
The recent tensions in Ukraine and especially in the Crimean Peninsula led to fears that Russia might cut short their natural gas delivery to Ukraine. Russia ceased the gas delivery to Ukraine and implicitly to Europe twice, in 2006 and 2009, in the context of disputes between Kiev and Moscow on the price of gas and the transit tariffs.
Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom will remove a discount on gas prices for Ukraine from April, Interfax news agency cited the company’s chief as saying on Tuesday. Alexei Miller also said Gazprom could offer Ukraine a loan of USD 2-3 billion to pay off the country’s debt of more than USD 1.5 billion after Ukraine told the state company it was unable to pay in full for gas deliveries in February, according to Interfax.
Gazprom, interested to purchase oil stations in Romania
NIS Petrol, the Serbian division of Russian giant Gazprom Neft, wants to reach a 10-percent share in Romania’s market of oil stations after 2015 and it is currently looking into any possibility of achieving its goal, including purchasing existing stations, NIS Petrol Executive Director Ileana Sorina Baltatu said Tuesday in a press conference, according to Agerpres.
‘We have informed all the companies on the market that we are interested in acquiring stations and we are waiting to see what the most interesting offerings are. Western Romania is a priority as it is close to our refinery in Pancevo, Serbia, but we want to become a national player, so we cannot ignore any part of the country,’ said Baltatu. She was asked whether there are advanced talks with Petrom, given that over the past year market information had it that the two companies would negotiate over NIS taking over 100 Petrom stations. ‘We are talking various projects with Petrom, as Petrom is one of our partners in fuel purchasing. As far as negotiations over the purchase of stations are concerned, we have voiced readiness toward Petrom if this largest gas and oil company in Romania feels like reorganising its portfolio,’ said Baltatu. NIS Petrol has so far opened 15 Gazprom-branded fuel stations in Romania and it is contemplating doubling the number by the close of 2014.