Victor Parlicov: Gazprom will have to sell gas cheaper to Moldova so as to cope with competition

Gazprom needs to sell the gas as the Republic of Moldova needs to buy it. In a world in which the consumers make a choice, the supplies are forced to fight for consumers. In a world in which the consumers do not make a choice, the supplier’s demands must be satisfied. The fact that Moldova has such alternatives as the Iași-Ungheni gas pipeline already creates competition between suppliers, said energy policy expert Victor Parlicov, the ex-director for the National Agency for Energy Regulation.

In a public debate at IPN, the expert noted that this gas pipeline offers one more opportunity by which the gas and suppliers from different markets can enter the Republic of Moldova. “It counts less whether the gas comes from Gazprom or from Romania. The existence of transport routes that can bring other suppliers to the market will inevitably have a beneficial effect on the consumers of the Republic of Moldova and will ensure greater negotiation power,” stated Victor Parlicov.

Referring to the international context and what is going on in the gas market, the expert said that an atypical situation is witnessed. “I don’t think such a situation will repeat soon or will last long as this oversupply of gas in the short run owing to the absence of demand was determined by the competition of different factors in different areas. First of all, after the Fukushima tragedy, Japan turned off almost all the nuclear reactors and electricity production was substituted with gas burning. Meanwhile, security measures were gradually taken and those nuclear reactors were turned on again. The gas consumption in Japan in 2018-2020 decreased considerably,” explained Victor Parlicov.

“At the same time, COVID-19 appeared and seriously affected production in China, which is a serious consumer of compressed gas that is transported by sea. The U.S, which is an importer of natural gas, became an exporter as it exports more natural gas than it imports. This creates additional pressure on the world market of compressed gas. In Europe, owing to the fact that the energy security was based more on pipe gas, they diversity the gas supply directions by extending the pipe networks in different areas.”

According to Victor Parlicov, Gazprom can supply gas to Moldova from the south. “The Trans-Balkan pipeline is a system of pipes that can be managed by transmission system operators from any country. The portion in the Republic of Moldova is managed by Moldovatransgaz, while the consumption in Romania by Romania’s Transgaz. The decision to allow the gas to pass through a pipe towards a direction or another is taken by the transmission system operators at the supplier’s request. For example, if Moldovagaz wants this, we can ask Gazprom to supply gas not to the supply station situated near Tiraspol, but to the southern station and the gas would come from Romania and Ukraine.”

The public debate “Gas pipeline between politics, economy and chance to live better” was the 153rd installment of the series “Developing political culture through political debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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