Norway was first to bypass Russia on gas supplies to Lithuania

In 2016 Lithuania will have to import more gas from Norway than from Russia, which had previously been its sole supplier, reports Reuters with reference to the Lithuanian Minister of energy Rokas Masiulis. In his words, “based on current plans, market Statoil’s share will exceed this year’s 50%”.

Until the end of 2014, the monopolist in gas supplies to Lithuania was “Gazprom”. To reduce energy dependence on Russia, the country opened a floating terminal for receiving liquefied natural gas (LNG), which allowed us to obtain gas from Norway.

This year the volume of imports of LNG in Lithuania will grow three times after the signing of two new contracts with Statoil, announced on Friday, the terminal operator, Klaipedos Nafta. Recipients of gas on short-term contracts will become a gas company Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (LDT) and nitrogen fertilizer producer Achema.

According to Masiulis, the signing of new contracts with Statoil “clear evidence that products of “Gazprom” in the market there is real competition”. New transactions mean that the supply through the LNG terminal will increase in 2016 more than 1 billion cubic meters while the demand for gas in Lithuania is approximately 2 billion cubic meters.

According to Klaipedos Nafta, until the end of September as a result of new contracts waiting the arrival of 12 tankers with LNG. Previously it was about the delivery of four tankers on contract with Litgas, which for five years has pledged to procure about Norwegians 540 million cubic meters a year.

LDT long-term contract with Gazprom expired in the past year, and, according to the representative of the Lithuanian company, she had to sign a short term agreement with Statoil to cover the deficit. The LDT negotiations with Gazprom are continuing, Reuters reports.

The head of the LDT mantas Mikalajunas said on Friday that the contract with Statoil provides for the supply of about 300 million cubic meters, which is enough Lithuanian to the importer for six months. He explained the appeal to the Norwegian company’s desire to diversify the supply and pricing of “Gazprom”, which turned in an unfavorable direction.

“Market share “Gazprom” in the future will depend on prices and other commercial conditions,” — said Masiulis. “On this issue will not be political decisions. All decisions on gas purchases are commercial,” he added.

Reuters notes that Lithuania is “Gazprom” minor market, which is just over 1% of the total export of Russian gas to Europe.