24 May 2022 17:15

Moldovagaz sells some gas received from Gazprom to state co to create reserve for first time

CHISINAU. May 24 (Interfax) - Moldovagaz has sold a portion of the gas received from Gazprom to Moldova's state-run Energocom for the first time in its history, Moldovagaz head Vadim Ceban said on Telegram.

"Historical event on the country's gas market. Moldovagaz has sold Energocom 24.5 million cubic meters of natural gas in line with new market rules approved by ANRE [National Agency for Energy Regulation] in 2019. The natural gas delivery took place on the wholesale market, on a so-called virtual trading point," Ceban said.

The transaction was carried out in fulfillment of a May 23, 2022 decision of the emergency situations commission, he said.

"We'll use the proceeds to pay off Moldovagaz's current debt to Gazprom today," Ceban said, although he did not say how much Energocom paid for the gas.

The emergency situations commission instructed Energocom to purchase 24.5 mcm of gas for the March-April price, $547 per thousand cubic meters in March and $1,193 per thousand cubic meters in April.

According to specialists, 24.5 mcm of gas could be enough for the right bank of the Dniester for approximately two weeks in the summer. Moldova used almost 100 million cubic meters of gas in April and is predicted to use just over 50 mcm in May.

Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said at a press conference on Tuesday that "the government is trying to create reserves of natural gas for emergencies." Moldova is storing gas reserves in its own transport network, as well as in Romania and Ukraine, Spinu said. A large portion of the reserves, 20 mcm, are in Romania. Discussions are already being held with Romania on transferring them to storage, he said.

In response to a question on the relationship with Gazprom, Spinu said that he expects partners to be "civil, transparent, and predictable," but that is not currently the case. "The emergency commission's decision to create gas reserves is connected with this, among other things," he said.

Moldovagaz and Gazprom signed a five-year contract for the supply of gas that entered into effect on November 1, 2021. According to the agreement, Moldovagaz is required to pay for gas for the previous month and make an advance payment for gas for that month by the 20th of every month.

The rate for consumers in Moldova went up 2.4-fold after the new gas contract was signed. At the end of January, the consumer rate was raised another 40% to $620 per thousand cubic meters and backdated to January 1. The price for gas from Gazprom was $450 per thousand cubic meters in November 2021, $550 in December, $647 in January, $564 in February, $547 in March, and $1,193 in April and is $920 per thousand cubic meters in May.