Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Romania not affected by Moldova gas pipeline blast

BUCHAREST, April 1 (Reuters) - Romania is not experiencing any drop in pressure of its natural gas imports after a blast on a transit pipeline in Moldova, state-controlled pipeline operator Transgaz said on Wednesday.

"We don't feel any impact from the blast. Gas deliveries from imports are now at yesterday's normal levels," Transgaz director Ioan Rusu told Reuters by telephone.

"I heard that other Balkan states are somehow affected."

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.

"It remains to be seen whether we will encounter any drop in pressure," Rusu said, adding that much would depend on measures taken by the exporters. He did not elaborate.

The blast occurred in Moldova's separatist region of Transdniestria at 0230 GMT on the Ananyev-Tiraspol-Izmail pipeline running from Russia via Ukraine and Moldova to the Balkans.

The pipeline supplies most of the gas needs of Bulgaria, Romania and serves part of Turkey's needs.

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