Bucharest, August 29 - Neftegaz.RU.
A possible reduction of Russian natural gas supply to Ukraine from the start of 2020 could affect gas supplies to Romania, Romanian energy regulator ANRE said, Seenews reported
"Given reasonable suspicions that natural gas supply to Ukraine will be reduced for the winter of 2019-2020, there is a risk of halting supply to some consumers
, also determined by the reduced capacity of other interconnection points," ANRE said in explanatory notes to an order for building up gas stocks ahead of winter months published on its website.
"In these conditions, it may be necessary to halt supply to some categories of consumers and make certain thermal power groups use fuel oil in order to operate."
If such a situation occurs, it will affect the entire region, with both Romanian neighbours Hungary and Bulgaria having to activate security mechanisms to protect their own consumers.
"As a result, natural gas will no longer be available at the interconnection points with the two countries," ANRE said.
Russia plans to suspend natural gas exports to Southeast Europe through the Trans-Balkan Corridor, which crosses Ukraine, Moldova
, Romania and Bulgaria before reaching Greece and North Macedonia, next year, the Russian ambassador to Serbia, Aleksandr Chepurin, said in March.
Although Romanian gas transmission company Transgaz has stockpiled the amounts of gas needed for the winter months, there is a risk that the volumes will not be enough, ANRE said. Therefore, the government should urgently approve the injection of additional gas into underground storage sites, the energy regulator added.
Ukraine is historically the main transit route for Russian gas
deliveries to Europe. The current gas transit contract between Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz will expire on December 31, 2019.
Bulgaria imports almost all of the gas it needs from Russia via the transit pipeline crossing Ukraine, Moldova and Romania.