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ANRE warns of risk of gas supply shortage this winter due to possible transit reduction


 In a document posted on its website, the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) cautions against the risk of a gas supply shortage this winter, which could leave some of Romania's consumers unsupplied, given that there are "reasonable suspicions" that the gas transit through Ukraine will be reduced.

"Considering that there are reasonable suspicions that natural gas supplies via Ukraine will be reduced for the 2019 - 2020 winter, there is a risk that the natural gas volumes won't be enough for all consumers, also due to the reduced capacity of the other interconnection points. Under the given circumstances, it may be necessary to discontinue supplies to certain consumer categories and shift some thermal power stations to heating oil operation," the document reads.

This is the first time that the Romanian authorities mention the risk that gas imports are put in jeopardy by the fact that the Russia - Ukraine gas transit agreement will come to end on December 31, 2019.

So far, natural gas transporter Transgaz has stated in public documents that the Romanian side hasn't received any information regarding the gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine.

There is "reasonable doubt" that natural gas delivery through Ukraine might be diminished in the upcoming winter season, so cutting delivery for some categories of consumers in Romania and having thermal energy units use oil fuel may become necessary, according to Romania's national agency regulator ANRE.

This document comes after the Energy Ministry also invoked such a possible situation in May this year. The ministry at the time also spoke of other options like restarting unprofitable drills.

But the document posted by ANRE was removed from the website and shortly replaced with one which drops the segments referring to the possibility that Russia reduce its gas transit.

The document said in case of such a situation a cut in deliveries of natural gas through Ukraine would affect the whole region including Hungary and B ulgaria, which would have their security mechanisms activated in order to protect their own consumers.