Austria’s Russian Gas Imports ‘Back to Normal’ in Jan: OMV
Commenting on a statement by Gazprom on February 2 that Austria had imported 76.2% more gas this January than it had in January 2015, the country's dominant supplier OMV said that was because deliveries last year had been low for unspecified "technical reasons." "We are however back to normal levels this year," a spokesperson said. Gazprom said exports to Austria in 2015 were up by 11.5% in 2015 on the year but gave no volumes for either period.
Gazprom issued its statement after Austria’s vice-chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner visited Moscow and met Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller. The meeting covered other projects of common interest, including Nord Stream 2 in which OMV is a shareholder; and the increase of storage capacity at Haidach.
In 2015 the aggregate working capacity rose by 150mn m³, or about 5% to 2.98bn m³, making it the third largest in Europe. At the same time, its peak daily withdrawal capacity grew by 1.55mn m³/d to 29.9mn m³/d.
This was achieved at no extra cost, Gazprom said. Gazprom owns 66.7% of the plant but the operator is Austrian RAG.
Haidach's chief function is to secure the reliability of Russian gas exports towards Austria's Baumgarten hub, which is the delivery point for gas sales to Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Italy.
Other buyers are also taking more gas from Russia, although for different reasons. For example, Italian Eni in January apparently agreed to take more gas than the minimum it had to under its take-or-pay commitments. Gazprom said at the time: "The companies confirmed their intention to continue closely cooperating in the Italian gas market and expressed their readiness to increase Russian gas sales under the existing long-term contracts."