Moldova asks consumers to cut gas consumption due to supply deficit

Aura Sabadus


LONDON (ICIS)–Moldova’s gas incumbent has asked large industrial consumers to reduce consumption as the gas Russia’s Gazprom has contractually agreed to deliver will only meet 67% of required demand for October.

Moldovagaz asked dual-fuel consumers to switch to oil while the country’s pro-EU government negotiates a possible increase in supplies with Gazprom.

Moldova extended its gas supply contract by a month after its previous agreement with Gazprom expired.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Moldovagaz said it was expecting to receive 54 million cubic metres in October but added that typical seasonal demand could exceed 80 milion cubic metres. Moldovagaz is half owned by Gazprom.

Right now, Moldova is using linepack gas to make up for the daily supply shortfall.

According to the post, Gazprom could not deliver more volumes because the contract extension had been negotiated on the final day of September which meant the deadline for booking monthly capacity through Ukraine had been missed.

In a statement to ICIS, the Ukrainian gas transmission system operators said GAzprom only needed to book exit capacity to Moldova, pointing out that it already has monthly entry capacity.

Gazprom has a long-term ship-or-pay contract with Ukraine to transit gas to central Europe but also to Moldova.

On 1 October, it decided to stop transiting gas to Hungary, even though it had booked 24.6mcm/day for Hungary and paid for it.

Ukrainian grid operator GTSO said Gazprom already had the booked Hungarian entry capacity and only needed to book additional exit capacity for Moldova at a low cost.

GTSO said Moldova could also off-take the gas on the Ukrainian-Russian border but said this was dependent on Gazprom delivering the volumes at this border point.

Gazprom did not reply to questions from ICIS by publication time.

A Moldovan market source said Gazprom could book daily capacity and deliver volumes on a spot basis.

Moldova does not have any storage capacity and is completely reliant on Russian gas.

The neighbouring Romanian gas transmission system operator Transgaz has been working on completing the transmission infrastructure linking Romania to Moldova’s capital Chisinau, which it was expected to commission this month.

When operational the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau transmission corridor could supply 1.5 billion cubic metres to Moldova, which is half of its annual consumption.

ICIS asked Transgaz when the interconnector would be brought online. The company did not reply to the question but said the inquiry had been given a registration number and would be addressed within a maximum 30 days.


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