Romania’s technical operator of the national natural gas transmission system Transgaz committed to making available capacities at interconnection points for increased natural gas exports from Romania to neighbouring countries, in particular, Hungary and Bulgaria.
“This will promote the free flow of gas at competitive prices in South-Eastern Europe and is a further step towards a single European energy market,” commented the European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy. “Consumers across the region will benefit from greater security of supply of a key transition fuel towards the ultimate objective of an emissions-free energy mix, in line with the European Green Deal.”
A formal investigation was launched in June 2017 to assess whether Transgaz had infringed EU antitrust rules by restricting exports of natural gas from Romania. Such restrictions may have maintained or created barriers to the cross-border flow of natural gas from Romania, one of the EU’s largest natural gas producers, to Hungary and Bulgaria, contrary to the objective of an integrated Energy Union where energy flows freely across borders directed by competitive forces and based on the best possible use of resources.
Now, Transgaz has committed to making available minimum export capacities of 1.75 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year at the interconnection point between Romania and Hungary, a capacity equivalent to around one-sixth of Hungary’s annual gas consumption. In regards to Bulgaria, Transgaz will make available minimum export capacities totalling 3.7 bcm per year at two interconnection points, covering more than half of Bulgaria and Greece’s annual gas consumption. Furthermore, the company will ensure that its tariff proposals to the Romanian national energy regulator (ANRE) will not discriminate between export and domestic tariffs in order to avoid interconnection tariffs that would make exports commercially unviable.