The Baltic States are considering creating a single gas market that would facilitate gas trading among the three countries and may include Finland.
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"The issue is still being discussed, a Baltic regional task force has been formed and a Baltic regional study of the gas market was drafted last month," said Vygantas Vaitkus, a member of the National Commission for Energy Control and Prices.

The main objective of the model is to avoid additional payment for gas transportation over Baltic borders and to have the Baltic States and Finland treated as a single market. After paying once for piping gas into the market companies would not have to pay any additional fees, unlike now.

Dominykas Tuckus, chairman of Lithuania's state energy holding company Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), said the creation of a single Baltic market would lead to more convergence of prices in three states.

"Of course, there would be more competition on the retail market – Lithuania, as the biggest natural gas consumer in the Baltic States, would attract suppliers from Estonia and Latvia. It would be a win for purchasers. Speaking about export possibilities in the course of a few years is still difficult. As we know, a lot will depend on the strategy of (Russia's) Gazprom and the prevailing prices," Tuckus said.

He believes a bigger opportunity lies in the inclusion of Finland and Poland into the single market, as they consume respectively 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas and 15 billion cubic meters of gas annually, respectively. Gas pipeline interconnections will be completed in 2019 with Finland and with Poland by 2020.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said a single Baltic market would revitalize the Lithuanian market.

"We will wait for a [single market model] that would make the market as vibrant as possible," Masiulis said.

BNS
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