Latvijas Gaze picks up Russian gas quantities: press
Latvia's Latvijas Gaze has purchased gas supplies from Russia using an alternative vendor to Gazprom, enabling it to use euros rather than roubles as required under Gazprom's exports policy, Reuters reported July 29.
Riga is looking to ban Russian gas imports but will not do so until 2022-end. It is required to pay for gas in euros under Latvia's regulatory framework, Reuters said. Latvijas Gaze has declined to identify the new Russian supplier, citing business confidentially, though it says peers in the Latvian energy sector have struck similar agreements.
"We are not the only ones in Latvia, there are also other companies that are receiving gas from Russia," Latvijas Gaze spokesperson Anastasia Petere told Reuters.
A 65% - 89.9% hike in household natural gas tariffs was introduced by Latvijas Gaze on July 1, according to local newswire LETA. Gazprom owns a 34% stake in Latvijas Gaze, and the Latvian utility had said previously it would pay for gas in roubles if needed. This stance brought criticism from domestic observers, who have pointed out that neighbouring Lithuania ended most Russian gas imports earlier this year.
Lithuania's Klaipeda LNG terminal is currently central to non-Russian gas flows through the Baltic region. Since war broke out in Ukraine in February, the facility has been largely booked up, with plans to build a second Baltics LNG terminal in Estonia still some months away. Latvia is looking at two proposed LNG terminals for its capital city Riga. An in-depth evaluation by Latvia's Ministry of Economics is currently underway and is due to report back by August 31, according to LETA.