Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Russian gas supplies to Romania cut by 75 pct

BUCHAREST, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Russian gas supplies to Romania were reduced by 75 pct from contracted levels as a result of the Moscow-Kiev price dispute, state-controlled Transgaz pipeline operator said on Tuesday.

"Imports of Russian gas are now reduced by around 75 percent," Transgaz director Ioan Rusu told Reuters by telephone. "But we can overcome this winter without problems."

Last Friday, gas imports via Ukraine fell suddenly by 30 to 40 percent, with daily volumes reduced by around 3 million cubic metres after Russia cut gas deliveries to Ukraine.

Rusu said the Isaccea 2 gas import station, which stopped receiving gas from 3 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Tuesday, was closed to avoid a fall in pressure in the national pipeline system.

Supplies through another station, Mediesu Aurit, which delivers around 25 percent of contracted levels were at normal levels, he added.

The economy ministry said in a statement that measures had been taken earlier in the day to ensure constant gas supplies to all Romanian consumers.

It said underground storage and gas produced by wells belonging to state-controlled natural gas producer Romgaz and oil and gas firm Petrom SNPP.BX (OMVV.VI) were being used to make up for the shortfall.

Romania, which is less reliant on Russian gas than other ex-communist states, produces around 65 percent of its annual domestic consumption from local fields and imports about one-third from Russia.

Romania has some 2.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas stored in underground deposits, Rusu said, adding the country currently draws around 26 million cubic metres a day from them. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Katie Nguyen)

No comments: