The Moldovan government has declared a state of emergency in the energy sector due to a gas shortage that arose after the expiration of a gas contract with Gazprom, which has not yet been extended, Deutsche welle reports citing statements by members of the Moldovan government.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development Andrei Spînu states, in order to save gas, a number of enterprises in the energy sector, including CHP, have partially switched to fuel oil or coal. The Deputy Prime Minister called the situation in the country an unprecedented energy crisis. The state of emergency was announced on October 13 in order to prepare enterprises for various scenarios and take measures by government agencies to provide citizens with energy resources in the cold season.
Moldova's long-term contract with Gazprom, signed in 2006, which has since been renewed annually, expired on September 30. However, the deal was extended for another month, during which Chisinau buys gas from a Russian concern at a price of $790 per thousand cubic meters. This is almost three times more expensive than at the beginning of the year, when gas cost the country about $250 per thousand cubic meters (prices changed quarterly).
According to Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița, Moldova wants to extend the contract on the same terms as before.
Now negotiations with Gazprom, Gavrilița claims, are not easy, because "the partners have different requirements and expectations" that do not coincide with the interests of the Moldovan authorities.
Authorities are considering alternatives to importing natural gas using interconnections with Ukraine and Romania.
As it was reported earlier, gas prices on the European ICE exchange again exceeded $ 1,200 per thousand cubic meters.
Since the beginning of the week, the rate of gas pumping in Europe's underground gas storage facilities (UGSF) has fallen to a minimal index since May. The gas withdrawal rate will soon surpass the inflow rate, reports Gas Infrastructure Europe. On October 11, the pumping rate exceeded the withdrawal rate by 20 percent, while the overall level of EU gas stocks increased only by 0.02.
Since July 31, the volumes of Russian gas pumped into underground storage facilities in Europe, which were used by the Gazprom concern, have decreased. At the same time, the transportation of gas to Europe through the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which runs through Belarus and Poland to Germany, has also decreased.
After that, gas prices in European markets went up sharply.
The European Commission adopted a Communication on Energy Prices, to tackle the exceptional rise in global energy prices, which is projected to last through the winter.