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Moldova to Buy and Store Half of Its Natural Gas Stock in Romania

Half of the gas meant to ensure the energy security of the Republic of Moldova through the next winter will be purchased and stored in Romania, according to officials in Chisinau.

Moldova itself lacks any gas storage capacity. The gas will likely be bought from OMV Petrom and stored by Depogaz, a company owned by Romgaz. With the total security stocks of the Republic of Moldova amounting to 50 million cubic meters (approximately 530 GWh), it follows that 25 million cubic meters (approximately 265 GWh) will be stored in Romania, according to Profit.ro.

The amount to be stored is relatively small, representing about 0.78% of Romania’s storage capacity through Depogaz (owned by Romgaz) and Depomures (owned by Engie), which is 33.86 TWh. As of June 26, Romania had stored 22.5 TWh, representing 66.5% of the total storage capacity.

So far, Energocom, the state energy company of the Republic of Moldova, has signed several contracts with natural gas suppliers. The first deliveries to be stored in Romania will be made next month, according to Victor Parlicov, the minister of energy in Chisinau.

Victor Bînzari, the interim director of the state energy company Energocom in the Republic of Moldova, had announced that they would purchase gas from two companies, one from Romania and another from Greece. “We negotiated with two suppliers, the Greek company DEPA, and another business entity that wished to remain anonymous. According to the agreements, we cannot disclose more details about prices and the volumes being tendered, but we can say that the contracted companies are reputable and have offered costs close to our expectations,” said Bînzari.

The company from Romania is OMV Petrom, according to Profit.ro sources. When asked about this matter, Christina Verchere, the CEO of the company, refused to comment, stating that competition legislation prohibits the disclosure of commercial details.

Moldova may yet store even more of its gas in Romania, according to Parlicov. The announcement was made after a bilateral meeting of the working group in the energy field between the Republic of Moldova and Romania. “The storage facilities in Romania have a capacity of approximately 3 billion cubic meters of gas. Currently, we have over 2 billion stored. Our obligation to the European Commission is to cover 90%, and we are confident that we will approach 100%. Therefore, the percentage we will establish with the Republic of Moldova will also be determined,” said Pavel-Casian Nițulescu, secretary of state at the Romanian Ministry of Energy.

Last month, Energocom announced that it still had approximately 150 million cubic meters of natural gas in stock out of the total 600 million procured in 2022 for the winter. The remaining gas in stock accounts for about 10% of the resources consumed during the winter. Romania and the Republic of Moldova are currently negotiating projects to interconnect their natural gas and electricity networks, and a draft Memorandum of Understanding has been developed in this regard.

Source: Romania Insider