Lithuania Reaches Deal with Gazprom on 2019 Gas Supplies

Russia’s gas major Gazprom has agreed with Lithuania on the terms of gas supplies in 2019, with the final signatures yet to be put on the contract, the supply arm of the state energy group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) said on Monday, according to The Kyiv Post.

“The contract is currently being formalized. The terms and conditions have been agreed. We have secured gas supply from January 1,” Lietuvos Energijos Tiekimas, or LET, said in a statement.

The company’s officials said on the afternoon of the last day of 2018 that they were waiting for the final signatures to be put on the contract.

LET would not disclose how much gas it plans to buy from Gazprom, but its officials have said the quantity will not be higher than that in 2018. The company also plans to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Norway and other suppliers next year.

Gazprom has said Lithuania imported 764 million cubic meters of gas from Russia in the first half of 2018, down by 4 percent year-on-year. Russian gas accounted for just over 50 percent of Lithuania’s total gas consumption in 2017.

Lithuania’s authorities had for years accused Russia of using gas supply as a tool of political pressure. The country ended Gazprom’s monopoly by launching a LNG terminal in Klaipeda in 2015.

Until recently, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), along with Finland, relied 100 percent on Russian gas for their energy needs. Now the Baltic and Nordic states are trying to break free of their dependence on Russian gas imports.

Finland and Estonia are building the Balticconnector, a major new pipeline between the two countries that could bring natural gas from the United States and other nations to Finland. It will be the first pipeline into Finland that does not originate in Russia.