TALLINN – Margus Kaasik, CEO of Estonian privately held gas and energy seller Eesti Gaas, said at Tuesday's sitting of the Riigikogu finance committee that in a crisis situation, the countries from which the company gets its gas tend to prefer their own market participants and supplying gas to Estonia will become considerably more difficult.
Kaasik said that Eesti Gaas, which used to supply mainly Russian gas to customers in Estonia, now supplies only liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The main concern, according to Kaasik, is that even though gas connections with other countries function very well under normal circumstances, in a crisis situation things can get very difficult.
"What we are seeing today is that our neighboring countries, in a crisis situation, in one way or another, start to give preference to consumers in their own country, their own entrepreneurs, energy companies," he told MPs.
"Fortunately for us, they haven't done it completely, so that we would have no access, they haven't done that, but they are still quietly bending the rules to make it better for themselves," said the CEO of Eesti Gaas.
For example, in the spring, the rules of the Latvian gas reservoir were made more favorable for local businesses, whereas Lithuania has adapted the rules of the Klaipeda LNG terminal in the same way.
"The reality today is that, speaking of this same Klaipeda terminal, where we managed to get these two cargoes for the end of this year, then next year -- if it goes well -- then next year we will get one cargo out of 38," Kaasik said.
He explained that 38 terawatt-hours can come in via Klaipeda and Estonia will receive one terawatt-hour.
"Is that enough? I would say not enough. I think this is frustrating," he added.
According to Kaasik, there is also uncertainty about the Finnish LNG terminal.
"In the end, it doesn't matter -- we make a super-open, fine terminal, we invite all companies from all over Europe, 20 companies come and want to get a slot there -- now go ahead and start distributing these two slots a month to 20 companies. Well, very good, two get one each, 18 get nothing," Kaasik said.
"We should not forget that in addition to the infrastructure, there will still be some kind of trading going on there, and the rules and the system should be such that our state, the Estonian state, would also be sufficiently leveraged with its interests. Today, I am not 100 percent sure about that," he said.