The Baltic countries welcome the winter with half-empty gas storage

Gas storages in Europe are currently a little more than 80 percent full, while at the Inčukalno gas storage facility, gas fell below 49.7 percent at the beginning of the last month of the year.

“The entire Baltic region and Finland are left with one source of natural gas supply, which works in the maximum technical mode and provides both the current consumption of natural gas of the entire region, as well as storage”, – vz.lt comments the representatives of the largest gas importer “Achema”.

They also note that the high electricity prices that led to the start-up of gas-fired power plants further increased the “current” consumption of natural gas in the region: “These factors simply left no physical natural gas flows to put into storage.”

The Ministry of Energy did not answer vz.lt’s questions about the causes of the situation and ensuring the security of gas supply in the coming winter.

The three Baltic countries and Finland, with a total annual consumption of about 6 billion cubic m of gas, are basically “hung” on one “Independence”, which can serve up to 3.8 billion per year. cubic meters.

“Although the total filling of Inčukalno is lower, the reserves of Ignitis are significantly higher than what we have been accumulating in recent years,” Ignitis says on vz.lt. The company assures that there will be enough natural gas for Ignitis business clients and Lithuanian residents.

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karinis told Latvian television on Friday that the country will have enough gas: “At the moment, Latvijas Gaze is a public supplier – it has the obligation to supply the population. If they refuse, cannot or have difficulty fulfilling this obligation, then this service will be provided by the state-owned company “Latvenergo” together with “Conexus”.

Some gas market specialists with whom vz.lt spoke describe it more directly: “Latvijas Gaze” in Latvia is doing the same thing as “Gazprom Germania” and other companies belonging to the Russian gas monopoly did in Europe in 2021 – deliberately not filling gas storage before the heating season .

Amber Grid: There will be enough gas for Lithuania’s needs in the winter

Amber Grid, the operator of the Lithuanian gas transmission system, claims that there will be enough gas for Lithuania’s needs in the cold season. According to the company, Lithuania has direct access to the LNG market and a stably operating Klaipėda LNG terminal, in addition, Lithuania’s largest gas user, Achema, a Jonava fertilizer producer, is currently not operating.

Amber Grid claims that part of the gas from the terminal is directed to Latvia’s Inčukalnis gas storage facility every day, so it is constantly replenished.

“Although the storage fill appears low in percentage terms, the amount of fill – around 12 TWh – is quite significant when considering the consumption of the entire surrounding region during the winter months,” the company said on Monday.

“Latvia has recently increased the technical capacity of the storage facility by several TWh, after assessing the storage possibilities at the current conditions – it is likely that this leads to a lower declared percentage of the gas stored in the storage facility,” she added.

According to Amber Grid, even if one unit of Achemas was operating, the monthly gas consumption of Lithuania would be only about half of the amount gasified through the Klaipėda LNG terminal, and with the operation of both units, there would still be no shortage of gas.

“Besides, gas is kept in storage by Lithuanian suppliers, so the flow of gas to Lithuania in winter will also come from Latvian storage,” the company said.

In addition, a joint Finnish-Estonian LNG terminal will start operating in December.

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