Hungary to Meet Own Gas Needs

APA system engineer for Hungary's gas transport company watching a scheme of the pipeline system on Saturday.
BUDAPEST -- Hungary expects to meet its gas needs on Sunday mainly from domestic resources and will continue shipments started earlier this week to Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, Energy Minister Csaba Molnar said Sunday.

Molnar said Hungary's daily gas consumption was estimated at 61 million to 64 million cubic meters, which it expected to cover using 53 million cubic meters of reserves, 9 million cubic meters of domestic output and 4 million of imports from Western Europe.

"These resources that are at our disposal for the day are sufficient to cover the planned consumption safely, therefore, we are not planning to impose restrictions," Molnar told a news conference.

He said Hungarian oil and gas firm MOL and Germany's E.On Ruhrgas would export 4.7 million cubic meters of gas to Serbia on Sunday, 1.5 million cubic meters to Bosnia and 1 million cubic meters to Croatia via Austria.

Serbian imports of gas stopped earlier this week when shipments of Russian gas via a pipeline that runs through Ukraine and Hungary were cut off.

Molnar said he could not predict when Russian gas supplies via Ukraine would restart, despite an agreement between the two parties on deploying international teams of monitors at pumping stations in Russia and Ukraine.

"I cannot tell when the gas will arrive, but I think nobody can at this point."

nThe head of Greek state-owned gas company DEPA said Sunday that Russian gas supplies would take at least three days to return to the Balkans and Greece because of technical reasons.

"For technical reasons, between three and seven days will be needed to restore completely the flow of Russian gas to Balkans and Greece," DEPA chief executive Asimakis Papageorgiou said, adding that small quantities of gas could arrive earlier.