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GOVT OFFICIAL: HUNGARY'S GAS SUPPLY SECURE

 

Gas is flowing into Hungary, and even if this were not the case there is a sufficient amount of gas stored to see the country through the winter and beyond, a government official told public broadcaster M1 on Friday. Tamás Menczer, the foreign ministry state secretary for external relations, said the rate at which Hungarian gas stores were filled relative to consumption was around double the European average. Still, Hungarian energy security and gas supply depends on the fulfilment of the long-term agreement with Russia and the smooth operation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which last year alone pumped 4.8 billion cubic meters into the country, almost half of the 10 billion cubic meters of Hungary’s annual consumption, he added. At the same time, the government is always looking for ways to diversify gas procurement, he said. Whereas in 2010, Hungary had pipeline connectors with only two neighbouring countries, now there are six, the state secretary added. Menczer mentioned the possibility of increasing LNG capacities in Croatia, production at the Neptun Deep gas field in Romania, and Azeri gas deliveries to Hungary, adding that time and serious infrastructure developments were needed for these developments to be realised, “so Russian gas cannot be replaced for now”. He said that nuclear energy was far more predictable, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than Russian gas, and Hungary objected to any EU sanctions that could hold back the project to expand the Paks nuclear power plant.