Gazprom, Romgaz sign agreement on gas deliveries to Romania

Nov 30, 1999 01:00 AM

Russian Gazprom on November 26 signed a credit agreement with Romania's state-owned gas company Romgaz, Romanian press sources reported. The agreement will cover Russian gas shipments to Romania, and Bucharest will pay for the shipments with about 80% of a $ 180 million loan it will receive to build the Romanian section of a pipeline from Russia to Turkey.
The line via Ukraine, the completion of which is at least one year behind schedule, has lost some of its relevance, except for residents in that western area who have had trouble with supply in winter. The pipe was expected to finally carry as much as 3.9 billion cubic meters per year, some of which would have been Turkmen and Kazakh gas.
Russia is currently Romania's only gas supplier. Most of the gas comes through Romgaz, while some comes from Wirom and Wintershall, which use Romgaz lines to deliver the fuel to their consumers. Romgaz has not yet imported the planned amount of gas it was supposed to buy from Gazprom in 1999. "Unfortunately, [this is] so," Romgaz's Deputy General Manager Liviu Pintican said in a recent interview. Under a contract, signed in Moscow in December 1998, Gazprom was to sell Romgaz a total of 1.5 billion cubic meters in 1999. Natural gas imports have dropped continually for the past couple of years. Volumes stood at 4.9 billion cubic meters in 1997, then plummeted to around 2 billion cubic meters in 1998 and then to little more than 1 billion cubic meters this year. Domestic natural gas production has also decreased. The decline is generally accounted for by Romania's economic contraction over the same period. Because of the shrinking internal market, Romgaz has had trouble finding customers for its own production.

Source: Central Europe Daily Bulletin via NewsBase
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