Romanias Jan-May natural gas consumption up by 15.8% y/y.

By bne IntelliNews July 7, 2011
Romanias natural gas consumption soared by 15.8% y/y to 5.28mn tonnes oil equivalent (toe) in January-May despite the higher import prices, the statistics office reported. The domestic production increased by 2.3% y/y to 3.67mn toe, regardless of the long-term decline, caused by the depletion of local reserves. The domestic production covered only 69% of the consumption volume during the period, down from 79% last year. The imports on the opposite surged by 65.7% y/y to 1.61mn toe. Separately, the natural gas import prices surged by an average 18.4% y/y in US dollar terms in January-April, according to the latest available data from the energy market regulator ANRE, while the US dollar strengthened marginally against the local currency by 1% y/y. IntelliNews comment: As of July, the market watchdog hiked by 10% the regulated price for non-residential gas users, while another 20% hike is mulled for September. The government amended temporarily the gas pricing system in order to keep the prices stable in the residential segment over a nine-month period, starting in July. The move is part of the gradual liberalisation of the natural gas market, implemented firstly on the non-residential segment. As agreed with the IMF, the government instructed the market regulator to separate the pricing formulas for residential and non-residential users with the aim of allowing the independent regulator to adjust the non-residential prices in line with the market circumstances more freely. By end-September, the government should present a roadmap for non-residential market liberalisation.

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