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Lithuania signs major gas deal with Norwegian firm

Aug 22, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

Lithuania signs major gas deal with Norwegian firm
Norwegian firm Statoil willl provide cheaper gas to Lithuania for five years under a new deal (Photo: business.financialpost.com)

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supply and natural gas trading company Litgas, a part of energy company group Lietuvos Energija, has signed an agreement of strategic importance with Norwegian company Statoil.

The new deal, signed yesterday, means Statoil will be providing LNG terminal with gas for lower than the average global gas market price for a period of five years.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said the deal was historic and would lead to reduced gas prices for customers.

"Today is an exceptional day in the history of Lithuania as strategically important liquefied natural gas supply agreement with Norwegian company Statoil has been signed," said the Prime Minister.

"For the first time in the history of Lithuania we will have an alternative natural gas import source. It is an important step towards enhancing Lithuania's energy security and providing conditions which will allow to further reduce gas price for our consumers," 

The head of the Government believes that the alternative will come of use in negotiations with Russia's Gazprom.

"Incidentally, yesterday we discussed that negotiations with Gazprom will be renewed. Hopefully the alternative, as well as other instruments, will help negotiate with Gazprom, and the price will not be greater than the current one or perhaps could continue to decrease," said Butkevicius.

Upon signing an agreement with LNG provider, UAB Litgas will have to guarantee that 540 million cubic metres of gas is supplied annually, starting in 2015.

"Talking about pricing, most long-term contracts are signed not at a fixed rate but are based on certain formulas. In our case the formula will be pegged to Great Britain's gas index, which means that imported gas price will correlate with the price in the European Union," said Litgas CEO Dominykas Tuckus.

"If we look at the fluctuations of the index in the last four months, and apply the formula, the price will vary between 260 euros and 290 euros per thousand cubic metres." 

The LNG terminal is projected to be launched in late 2014. According to Geir Heitmann, Vice President of Statoil for LNG trading and operations, the first carrier will dock at the terminal in the New Year.

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