Lithuania to halt Gazprom gas purchases
Lithuania will no longer buy Gazprom gas imports after Russian president Vladimir Putin said he would force "hostile" countries to pay for the fuel in rubles, LRT reported March 24.
Gazprom has not sold gas to meet Lithuania's needs since the beginning of this year, according to Lithuania's gas supply company Ignitis. Ignitis typically purchases 25% of its gas from Russia and paid Gazprom more than €3bn ($3.3bn) in 2021, but says all deliveries this year went to its Incukalns storage bank for Latvian and Estonian customers.
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Lithuania's Klaipeda LNG satisfies the majority of home gas demand. Its operator said March 17 it had sold its full regasification capacity until September 2022. The country bought 4% less gas in 2021 year-on-year at 24 TWh, according to data from Lithuanian gas transmission system operator Amber Grid. Rosneft had brought small LNG cargoes from the Russian port of Vysotsk to Klaipeda and accounted for 20% of the terminal's imports last year, but this stopped earlier this month, according to BNS.
Ignitis Group head of relations Artūras Ketlerius told LRT that Gazprom still served the Lithuanian fertiliser plant Achema, but said the Russian giant supplied less than a third of Ignitis' total gas portfolio.
Lithuania's LNG imports also provide some gas for the wider Baltic region, and Klaipeda-sourced LNG is increasingly regasified for non-Baltic European nations.
On February 10, Amber Grid signed a contract to double the capacity the Lithuania-Latvia interconnection pipeline, with works due to be completed in 2024. A new 2.4bn m3 pipeline from Lithuania to Poland will be launched on May 1, allowing Klaipėda's regasified LNG to reach Polish customers. Since last year, the terminal has also supplied Finland via Estonia through the bidirectional Balticonnector pipeline.
However Lithuania's Baltic neighbours could use additional LNG capacity in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. Tallinn has said it is considering hiring a floating storage and regasification unit to anchor near the town of Paldiski, potentially as early as the third quarter of this year, according to media reports.