RIGA - Incukalns underground natural gas storage facility has sufficient natural gas stocks for the next heating season, Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) said in a press conference on Friday.
At present, 11.6 TWh of natural gas have been pumped in the facility, including 5.6 TWh owned by Latvian-registered companies adn 6 TWh owned by companies registered abroad. Indriksone said that consumers in Latvia are buying natural gas also from companies registered abroad, while Latvian-registered companies can sell gas also to foreign consumers.
The 5.6 TWh owned by Latvian companies also include the safety reserve purchased by Latvenergo.
Indriksone said that the natural gas consumptions estimated for the next heating season is 6.9 TWH and it is covered by the current stock of 5.6 TWh and the signed agreements on supply of 1.3 TWh.
"There is natural gas in Incukalns and we are ready for the hearing season," she said.
Latvenergo board member Dmitrijs Juskovecs said that Latvenergo completed the first procurement of the safety reserve of 1.7 TWh already in late May. Now the company is working on structured long-term base supply agreements with global natural gas suppliers and makes reservations at Klaipeda liquefied natural gas terminal.
He said that in the nearest time it is expected that natural gas supply capacities with balance out with the demand and the situation will normalize. He also said that the energy resource crisis will not be eternal and in the spring and summer of 2023 the natural gas prices will start to decline.
As reported, the Economics Ministry has drafted a regulation detailing conditions on which households will be able to receive support to compensate for the steeply rising energy prices, BNS was told at the ministry.
The regulation also provides for supporting households that heat their homes with firewood and wooden briquettes, as well as contain an improved support mechanism for consumers of natural gas.
The government is expected to decide on the proposed regulation at a meeting on August 9. The Saeima is due to vote on the draft document on August 11.
On June 21 this year, the government decided to develop support instruments to compensate households for the increased prices of electricity, gas, heating and woodchip pellets. Since prices of firewood and wood briquettes have been rising rapidly as well, the Economics Ministry included support to households that heat their homes with firewood and wooden briquettes.
The proposed support period would last from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023.