BUSINESS

Romania not affected even if natural gas imports stop all winter

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Romania’s population will not be affected by the lowering of natural gas imports this winter, not even if natural gas deliveries from Russia were to be completely stopped and were to resume only next spring, Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu stated on Monday at a press conference.
According to him, imports were at a normal level on Monday however starting on Tuesday until Sunday they will fall 10 per cent below the agreed volume.  “We have to start to get used to this situation, one that we will face more often in the following months. From the point of view of security of supply the quantities are absolutely insignificant and there will be no problems not even if the supplies were to stop entirely and were to resume only next spring, even if winter is extremely harsh,” the Energy Minister explained.
He pointed out that he has had talks with his counterparts in Bulgaria, Moldova and Serbia, informing them that Romania’s capacity to help them is extremely limited, with the exception of the Iasi-Ungheni interconnector.
“We hope that energy will no longer be used as a political weapon. I tried to talk with Russia’s ambassador in Bucharest, to find out what is the reason of this cutback, but I found it impossible, I was told he is not in Bucharest. Transgaz has so far received no answer for the cutback on Friday or for the one this week,” Razvan Nicolescu added.
At this moment Romania has 2.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas in its storage and will have 2.8 billion at the end of the storing cycle, compared to the 1.8 billion that the Regulation Authority estimates as being necessary for this winter.
Natural gas imports will fall by 10 per cent from Tuesday until Sunday, Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu announced on Monday.
This is the second decision to cut back on natural gas deliveries from Russia to Romania after the one taken on Friday, September 12, when deliveries fell by 5 per cent.  A new series of EU sanctions against Russia came into force at the end of last week, restricting access to EU capital markets for some Russian oil and defense companies. In particular, the EU has restricted access to European capital markets for Rosneft, Transneft and Gazpromneft, the oil branch of natural gas giant Gazprom.
Moreover, the EU has forbidden European companies from offering their Russian partners deep sea oil prospection and drilling services in the Arctic region, as well as services in shale gas projects, according to the document published on Friday by the European Union’s Official Journal.

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