aA
Lithuania will import more gas from Norway than from Russia in 2016 for the first time after closing a number of supply deals with Statoil facilitated by its liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure, Lithuania's energy minister said on Monday.
LNG Terminal
© M.Milinio nuotr.

The volumes of Lithuania’s LNG imports are expected to triple this year after two new importers signed deals with Norway's Statoil, said the terminal's operator, Klaipedos Nafta.

"Based on current plans, Statoil's market share (in Lithuania) will increase to more than 50% this year," Lithuania's Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis told Reuters.

"LDT and Achema's agreements with Statoil are clear proof that there is real competition to Gazprom's gas in the market," he said.

Lithuanian gas supplier Lietuvos Dujų Tiekimas (LDT) and privately owned nitrogen fertilizers producer Achema have agreed to buy LNG from Norway under short-term deals.

The new deals mean that supplies via the LNG terminal will increase to more than 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2016, while total Lithuanian demand is expected to be around 2 billion cubic metres.

Russia's Gazprom had enjoyed a supply monopoly until the end of 2014, when Lithuania opened a floating LNG import terminal to reduce energy dependence on Gazprom.

LDT's long-term supply contract with Gazprom expired last year, and the utility, which supplies gas to households, said it had to sign a short-term deal with Statoil cover the shortage. It has yet to negotiate a new deal with Gazprom.