ECONOMY

Household gas supplies not at risk from dispute

Greek households face no immediate problems in receiving gas supplies after a halt in Russian pipeline deliveries, gas company DEPA said yesterday. Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were cut at the Ukrainian-Romanian border late on Monday following a price dispute between Russia and Ukraine. The chairman of DEPA, Assimakis Papageorgiou, said «under no circumstances» will supplies to households be cut, even if the problems between Russia and Ukraine continue. «If the crisis continues for more days, we will have to cut supplies to large industrial units and electricity production plants, such as those belonging to the Public Power Corporation,» he told Skai Radio. Russia provides Greece with some 80 percent of its natural gas. But in addition to the Russian gas conduit through Bulgaria, Greece has a backup supply of Azeri gas through Turkey and liquefied gas reserves from Algeria stored on the small island of Revythousa off the west coast of Athens. Revythousa’s twin tanks have a capacity of 130,000 cubic meters according to DEPA. Russia cut supplies to Ukraine, a key transit point for Europe-bound natural gas, on January 1 as part of a bitter payment dispute. Moscow has since accused Ukraine of illegally removing gas transiting its country for clients further downstream in Europe. Ukraine denies stealing and has accused Russia of engineering the crisis. Meanwhile, an official from DESFA, the Hellenic gas transmission system operator, said Greece is seeking to purchase liquefied natural gas cargoes. «The supply stopped around (Monday) midnight,» Panayiotis Panosos, DESFA’s control-room director, told Bloomberg. «We’re looking to buy LNG cargoes,» he said, declining to say how long the reserves could last. LNG is gas cooled to a liquid to allow its transportation on tanker ships to places not linked by a pipeline to the point of production. It is brought back to gaseous form when it arrives at its destination.