In case of natural gas supply disruptions from Russia, Lithuania's natural gas stocks for small volume household users would last for about a month, says Dalius Misiūnas, head of the state-controlled energy company Lietuvos Energija.
© K.Šatūno nuotr.

Reacting to Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius' comments made a few days ago that, in case of Russian gas embargo, Lithuanian users would be protected against energy crisis, Misiūnas said that the stocks stored at Latvia's Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage and other storages for small volume household users would last for around 30 days.

"There are certain rules set out regarding stockpiling which allows us giving very precise numbers. Natural gas stocks are stored at the Inčukalns storage for Lithuania's small volume users, household users and those users who had subscribed to a continuous supply service. These stocks would last for one month," Misiūnas said on the radio Žinių Radijas, refusing to comment of the situation of major gas consumers.

The head of the energy company said that thermal power and cogeneration projects in Lithuania have significantly reduced the country's energy dependence, while in case of an energy crisis, users could be supplied with power from Elektrėnai thermal power plant, located 50 kilometres west of capital Vilnius.

Low chance of gas embargo

The probability of Russia sharply reducing or cutting off natural gas supplies to Lithuania, through which gas is pumped to its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, is low, the CEO of Lietuvos Energija said, also noting that Lithuania is about to launch a LNG terminal and that the country can meet its electricity needs by burning fuel oil.

"Certainly, we must be ready for all scenarios. But this probability is reduced by the very fact that we have the transit pipeline, the fact that we have the (LNG) terminal, which will come online, and the fact that we have electricity generation capacities that use not only gas but fuel oil as well," Misiūnas said when asked if a "natural gas weapon" could be used against Lithuania.

Kaliningrad may have around two weeks of natural gas supply in storage, Misiūnas added.

"There are no exact data as to how much gas there is, but there have been reports that up to 100 million cubic meters of gas can be stored in Kaliningrad. Looking at different scenarios, this could be a period of up to two weeks," he said.

Ukraine, which stopped receiving Russian gas almost three months ago, is trying to cover the shortage with reverse flows from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom has said that the supply of gas to all European countries that re-export it to Ukraine may be stopped.

Some countries - Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia - have already reported lowered levels of Russian gas supply.

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