Hungary: New Gazprom gas deal

, SEE Energy News

Hungary has agreed to buy 6.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Gazprom and will begin talks on a flexible, long-term gas supply agreement with the Russian company, said Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto.

Minister Szijjarto stressed that the goal is to sign three five-year deals, which allows cancelling the agreement at the end of each five-year period. This ensures our long-term supply and also our ability to renegotiate the agreement or quit if in the meantime better options arise or the international energy market changes.

Hungary is working to diversify its gas supply both in terms of source and routes away from the traditional Russian supply via Ukraine, but progress has been slow as alternative pipeline networks have not yet been completed.

Minister Szijjarto also said that Hungary will buy up to 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year via the so-called Balkan Stream gas pipeline (an extension of TurkStream pipeline running through Bulgaria and Serbia) once it is completed in October 2021.

In the meantime, Hungary has agreed to purchase 2 billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom via the traditional route, with shipments already under way, and another 4.2 billion cubic meters to be delivered between October 2020 and October 2021.