Romania imported up to a third of its daily consumption of natural gas these days, in order to be able to deal with the frosty period, with these being the highest daily imports of the past five years, according to sources from the energy sector.
The daily consumption of gas accounted for some 65 million square meters, of which part came from the internal production (approximately 27-28 million sq m), from deposits (some 14-15 million sq m) and from imports, which accounted for even 22 million sq meters (33 per cent of consumption), this being the highest quantity of gas imported in the past five years by Romania.
The storage deposits had some 5000 million sq m of gas in the beginning of the frosty period, out of the total of 1.8 billion sq m available in the beginning of the winter. However, the quantity of gas that can be extracted from the deposits during the winter season, drops significantly close to the springtime, compared with the quantity that can be extracted when the deposits are full, of 28-30 million sq m per day, respectively.
According to the Transgaz Website, the Line Pack indicator, which shows the exact volume of gas existing in a system at some point, started to drop on Monday and on Wednesday, having already reached the risk level (33 million square meters), the quantity of gas in the main pipes being much below the normal parameters of functioning (more than 40 million square meters).
In November 2017, the general manager of Transgaz, Ion Sterian, stated before the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the ANRE activity that the gas stock for the next winter was the smallest of the last four-five years, so that Romania would have to increase imports by 30 per cent in order not to cut off the consumers.
He warned that, under these terms, if the providers doesn’t have enough gas to cover for the supply to customers, the latter will be cut from the national gas system.
Moreover, according to Sterian, not all the quantity of gas in the deposits can be extracted.
“From the entire quantity in the stock, of 2.2 billion sq m, 300-400 sq m are dead stocks. What we extract is not a constant, but, as we are exhausting the energy from the field, the pressure drops and the quantities that remain in the deposit also drop. In the beginning of the winter we were able to extract 27 million square meters from the deposits daily, while towards the end of the cycle, in February-March, the quantity that we can extract drops significantly,” explained the general manager of the gas transporter.