Hungary Buys Russian Gas, Readies for Winter
The CEO of Russian pipeline gas export monopoly Gazprom Alexei Miller met the Hungarian foreign affairs and trade minister Peter Szijjarto at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum June 6.
The meeting participants examined the current issues and prospects of their co-operation, putting a special focus on gas supplies. It was noted that Gazprom's supplies to Hungary from January 1 through June 5, 2019, totalled 4.3bn m³, a 57.5% increase versus the same period of 2018. In addition to the contracted amounts, Hungary bought from Gazprom another 2bn m³ for delivery this year, Gazprom said.
According to data from transparency website Gas Infrastructure Europe, Hungary had injected over a quarter more gas into storage relative to this time last year, with 31.35 TWh in store June 5, compared with 24.59 TWh that day last year. So it is almost at half maximum working gas volume of about 68 TWh with about five more months to go.
As a former big gas producer, Hungary has an extensive gas network and relies on it for heating most homes in winter. Now it depends heavily on Russian gas flows through Ukraine, and the transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine expires at the end of this year. This leaves open the risk of interruption to supplies, if the two countries cannot hammer out a provisional agreement for January onwards.
European wholesale prices for summer delivery fell sharply earlier this year, while prices for delivery in winter 2019-20 prices did not, encouraging contracting for storage injection.