Republic of Moldova to store gas supplies in Romania for winter security

The Republic of Moldova, lacking storage capacity, plans to purchase and store half of its winter gas reserves in Romania, according to officials in Chisinau. The gas will likely be obtained from OMV Petrom and stored by Depogaz, owned by Romgaz. Moldova’s total security stocks amount to 50 million cubic meters, of which 25 million cubic meters will be stored in Romanian warehouses.

This represents only 0.78% of Romania’s storage capacity, which is 33.86 TWh. Currently, Romania has 22.5 TWh in storage, accounting for 66.5% of its total capacity.

Energocom, Moldova’s state energy company, has signed contracts with gas suppliers, with deliveries scheduled to begin next month. The gas will be stored in Romania. Victor Bînzari, acting director of Energocom, revealed that they will purchase gas from a Romanian company, likely OMV Petrom, as well as a Greek company. Prices and volumes are undisclosed but deemed satisfactory.

Moldova may store additional gas in Romania, apart from the initial 25 million cubic meters. Victor Parlicov, Moldova’s Minister of Energy, explained that 50% of the security stocks, around 50 million cubic meters, will be initially stored in Romania, and commercial stocks may follow if needed.

The announcement came after a meeting between Moldova and Romania’s energy working groups. Pavel-Casian Nițulescu, State Secretary of the Romanian Ministry of Energy, expressed confidence in meeting the European Commission’s requirement of 90% coverage, nearing 100%. Romania’s storage capacity is approximately 3 billion cubic meters, with over 2 billion already stored.

Moldova currently has 150 million cubic meters of gas in stock out of 600 million procured for the winter. These remaining reserves represent around 10% of the resources consumed during the cold season.

Both countries are discussing enhancing interconnections of their gas and electricity networks, aiming for closer ties. They are also exploring opportunities for supplying Moldova through the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector and utilizing Black Sea gas resources. The Iași-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline could facilitate this, with plans for improved flow, pressure regimes, and increased transport capacity by 2031, including the construction of the Chisinau Belt.

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