The price of gas in Europe exceeded 3,000 dollars per thousand cubic meters, after the news that the “North Stream” will stop working for three days on August 31 due to overhaul. Vojislav Vuletić from Udrženje za gas told RTS that it is too high a price that hardly anyone can afford. He estimates that Serbia will not have any problems with gas during the winter. “It has the Balkan flow, it has the possibility of supplying via Ukraine and Hungary, reserves in warehouses”, says Vuletić.
Vojislav Vuletić, in a guest appearance in RTS’s Jutarnji dnevnik, said that Serbia has well filled its warehouses and that they are still being filled – we have the Banatski Dvor warehouse, and a reserve in Hungary as well.
“I think that Serbia has absolutely no problems with gas – it has the Balkan Stream, it has the possibility of supply through Ukraine and Hungary. At the same time, it was agreed with the Hungarians that we store about 500 million cubic meters of gas in their warehouse. We have our Banatski Dvor warehouse, so “I think that Serbia will not have any problems with gas during the winter”, assesses Vuletić.
Speaking about the price of 3,000 dollars for a thousand cubic meters, he states that it is extremely high and that gas at that price is currently being bought by those who did not make an agreement with Gazprom on time, but also by those who have needs, not for heating because it is not winter period, than those who use gas as an industrial or chemical raw material.
“And in order for production not to stop completely, they have to buy gas at those high prices”, says the guest of Jutarnji dnevnik.
He believes that $3,000 for a thousand cubic meters of gas is too high a price that hardly anyone can afford.
“These are not normal prices – 3,000 dollars for a thousand cubic meters of gas is really too high a price that hardly anyone can afford. In the summer period when smaller quantities of gas are needed, perhaps that price can be paid for a smaller quantity. However, on in the winter, when much larger quantities of gas will be needed, it will certainly not be possible to pay for it”, says Vuletić.
Bulgaria refused to pay for gas in rubles and has been without Russian gas since April. They failed to secure sufficient quantities on the other side, they received a certain amount of gas from Azerbaijan, but these are small quantities that could not meet the required quantities during the winter. This week, they will again negotiate with Gazprom regarding the renewal of the contract because they have to solve the problem for the benefit of their country and people.
Vuletić believes that Gazprom will have understanding for Bulgaria because the Russians fill their budget by selling gas.
“Accordingly, they are interested in selling it in the largest possible quantities. If Bulgaria wants to pay for it in rubles, as was the agreement made a few months ago, Russia will have no problem delivering it”, the guest of Jutarnji dnevnik assesses.
Liquefied gas supply – a nice story but unfeasible
When asked what about liquefied gas, he states that Europe currently imports liquefied gas from Qatar, Algeria and Nigeria, but that these are negligible amounts – between 12 and 13 percent of annual consumption in Europe.
“The biggest importers are Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain, countries that are highly industrially developed and they in any case have a need for gas and they import it. However, there are no large quantities of gas on the world market”, says the guest of Jutarnji dnevnik.
So, he adds, stories about the possibility of supplying liquid, natural gas in Europe are nice stories, but they are not feasible.
“America has promised to deliver 15 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe this year, and Europe consumes 500 billion, so these are small, negligible quantities that Europe can get and we should not count on any large quantities that are able to satisfy needs of Europe with liquefied gas”, assesses Vuletić.
The answer to the question of which gas Europe can rely on is that Europe is supplied with gas from its own production.
“Mostly by importing from Norway, Scotland and the Netherlands, which have a higher production than needed. At the same time, a lot of gas is imported from Algeria, but 40 percent of the gas consumed by Europe is imported from Russia, that is, Gazprom supplies it. These are the quantities that must be brought to Europe if she wants to welcome the winter the way she should”, says Vuletić.
He states that there are no short-term measures that can help supply.
“So, gas must be imported from whoever has it at the moment, there is gas on the world market, but there are no ways to deliver it to Europe. The largest gas field in the world lies in Iran, but Iran is simply the ‘devil’ (from political reasons) from whom one should not buy gas”, believes the guest of Jutarnji dnevnik.
He also assesses that everything that is happening with gas is a political problem.
“It is not an economic, energy or thermal problem,” concluded the guest of Jutarnji dnevnik, RTS writes.