Conexus: Russia will not be able to supply gas to Latvian consumers in cold weather
«Weather observed in the past week has proven that Russia is technologically unable to supply gas to Latvian consumers under conditions of extreme cold,» says Conexus Baltic Grid chairman Zane Kotāne.
Conexus Baltic Grid’s managed underground gas storage facility in Inčukalns works at full capacity. The management of the company says it is able to secure clients’ demand for gas only thanks to experience of specialists working for the company and previously auctioned access to the underground facility.
But the cold weather Latvia has been experiencing for the past week has confirmed the company’s previously expressed opinion – the only way to ensure stable gas supply in winter is filling the storage facility in autumn, as mentioned by Conexus Baltic Grid representatives.
«Air temperature is not the lowest Latvia has experienced throughout its history. Although the cold weather has lasted for a short while so far, it still proves that gas supply from Russia will not be possible under very cold weather. As it can be concluded from demand, Russia is not only unable to supply gas to Latvia from a technical perspective but also unable to do this for its Estonian and Russian clients. This means the only solution for Latvia’s and wider region’s stable gas supply is filling the gas storage facility in autumn. Compared to previous years, historically the smallest volume of gas was pumped into the storage facility in 2017,» said Kotāne.
She says that regulations have to be approved as quickly as possible to ensure involvement of the system’s operator, users and traders to ensure stable gas supply. «This moderately cold winter week prove that it is necessary to return to the matter regarding creation of gas reserves in Latvia. Now is the time to knock on our neighbours’ doors and ask them to participate in formation of a secure natural gas supply system, because European regulations allow member states to develop unified supply models,» said Kotāne.
On Tuesday, 27 February, demand for gas from the storage facility reached 166,000 MWh. Requests were received for supplies to four countries – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Russia.
«It should be said that such a security solution was prepared and introduced thanks to the experience of the company’s specialists and timely analysis of solutions employed by other countries,» Conexus Baltic Grid continue.
While in February the storage facility’s ability to ensure output of 190,000 MWh, the current potential output is already below that – 165,000 MWh, because the facility’s daily output is directly dependent on the remaining volume of gas in the facility. More than half of the gas volume in storage is the last lot for the guarantees auction. Without it, IGSF’s capacity would be a mere 81,000 MWh, which is not enough to secure demand in Latvia, the company adds.