Larger volume of natural gas is removed from Inčukalns UGS for Finland and Estonia thanks to the unified natural gas market

With opening of the unified natural gas market on 1 January, the interest from Estonia and Finland to use Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage (UGS) has considerably increased – shows the information gathered by the unified natural gas storage and transmission operator “Conexus Baltic Grid” JSC (Conexus). The volume of natural gas removed in January has reached 3608 GWh, which is by 54% more than last year, besides the most part of the volume is transmitted for the needs of other countries.

Since the unified natural gas market has cancelled the payments for crossing the borders of unified tariff zone countries and has determined unified transmission tariffs, Inčukalns UGS has become more available to users from Estonia and Finland. During the first month since opening the market, 25% or 893 GWh from the total natural gas volume removed from the storage were removed for Finnish market, and 16% or 562 GWh – for Estonia.

When characterizing the present situation, Conexus states that in this gas supply season from November to January, in total by 26% more natural gas is removed from the storage that last year for the same period, reaching 7082 GWh. This is influenced by total filling of the storage which was the best this year during the last four years and by increased interest from users from other countries in the result of creating a unified market. It’s important that due to the warm weather, the demand for natural gas during this gas supply season has reduced in Latvia by 30% when compared with the same period last year, but the increased interest from users in Estonia and Finland has balanced the operation of the storage which is very important for the technical operation of the storage.

Zane Kotāne, Chairperson of Board of "Conexus Baltic Grid" JSC informs: “Already after the first working month of the unified natural gas market we can see that the integration of market and facilitation of daily operative work has justified itself. The most important benefit for Latvian natural gas infrastructure is the availability of Inčukalns UGS and strengthening of its position in the international market, because circumstances are created so that the demand for natural storage and transmission would stay constantly high. If we remember, quite recently there were discussions about the reduction in storage filling, but the creation of the unified market maintains the interest on storing natural gas in Inčukalns UGS and keeps it constantly high. This is a project which shows with real works that natural gas infrastructure is not the matter of one country or one region. Currently, all large-scale projects that are in progress in the industry are managed and organized internationally thus moving to modern and efficient use of natural gas in the Europe.”

From the volume pumped in Inčukalns UGS at the beginning of the season, 38% are currently removed from the total filling, that is more than sufficient for the volume required for Latvian gas supply needs ensuring the possibility to satisfy also the needs of international users.