Romania to export natural gas only after covering domestic consumption


Romania will export natural gas only after internal consumption is covered from national production, Energy Minister Constantin Nita stated for Agerpres, pointing out that otherwise we would be forced to import higher volumes of natural gas, economica.net reports. At the same time, the Energy Department plans to change the natural gas price liberalization timetable in favour of producers and large consumers, considering the new developments on this market, the minister stated, adding that a decision in this sense will be taken next summer.
He also stated that he has momentarily given up the idea of reorganizing energy producers into companies that would use a mix of resources, since the producers’ minority shareholder opposed this plan. According to the current timetable, the price of natural gas for industrial consumers has to be fully liberalized by December 31, 2014, however the Energy Law stipulates the possibility of extending this deadline by a year in case a far too big of a difference is noticed between the price of imported natural gas and that of nationally produced natural gas.
Asked whether this one-year extension is what he means, the Minister answered: “No, it’s about a recalculation of the price and about a different way of looking at the timetable established several years ago, because new things have appeared: the importation and exportation of natural gas, transportation issues, the movements taking place in our area on the natural gas market, which determine a certain positioning and a certain way of working.” He also stated that for household consumers the deadline of full liberalization will not be modified. That deadline is December 31, 2018. Nita stated that he cannot currently estimate what the price will be for household consumers at the end of the liberalization period, however the government is trying to maintain a price that would not too seriously affect the population’s incomes. According to the minister, large consumers will have the possibility of buying natural gas from the stock market, which will bring price predictability.

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