Monday, January 5, 2009

Russian gas to Romania remains around 30 pct down

BUCHAREST, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Russian natural gas supplies to Romania remained at reduced levels on Monday as a result of the Russia-Ukraine gas row, the head of the Black Sea state's state-controlled pipeline operator Transgaz said.

"Gas inflows are still around 30 percent lower than contracted levels," Transgaz director Ioan Rusu told Reuters on Monday. "This situation may continue until Jan. 11, Gazprom's Balkans office told us."

Last Friday, gas imports fell suddenly by 30 to 40 percent, with daily volumes reduced by around 3 million cubic metres.

Bucharest has said Romania can compensate for the fall as it has some 3 billion cubic metres of gas in store, with the country able to draw on around 25 million cubic metres per day.

"We are drawing a maximum of 26 million," Rusu said.

At the weekend, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu said Romanian consumers had not been affected.

Romania produces around 65 percent of its annual domestic consumption from local natural gas fields and imports around one third from Russia. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by William Hardy)

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