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Gas price hike looms in Serbia amidst international market turmoil

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As the cost of energy soars, particularly in the EU where it’s at its peak, the price of marine fuel remains steady for domestic consumers in Serbia, at least for now. However, concerns raised by the country’s president over the sudden spike in gas prices, reaching $420 per 1,000 cubic meters, coupled with dissatisfaction over domestic reserves, may finally spur action on agreements to expand existing gas storage facilities or build new ones—a topic discussed for over a decade.

Yet, despite ongoing talks, the envisioned expansion of the Banatski Dvor facility, with a current capacity of 450 million cubic meters, by Russian company Gazprom or other entities remains elusive.

Similar challenges persist regarding deposits in Čestereg and Tilva, where plans for new storage facilities could provide Serbia with reserves of approximately 1.5 billion cubic meters. Despite promises made over the years, the country finds itself grappling with energy crises, whether due to gas shortages or escalating prices, as the new heating season approaches.

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Compounding the issue is the routine pre-heating season increase in gas prices, partly attributed to the necessity of paying for storage in Hungary, rather than utilizing domestic capacities and profiting from them. The Ministry of Energy, alongside state leadership and Srbijagas, remains vigilant, monitoring the international gas market to swiftly address any potential disruptions. The current disruption, linked to technical issues in gas production and distribution in Norway, is expected to be resolved soon.

Additionally, the Ministry keeps a close eye on gas delivery through the North Stream pipeline. Based on ongoing developments and anticipated factors, decisions regarding gas storage quantities will be made, with an increase in stocks anticipated.

Regarding the impact on domestic gas prices, consumers in Serbia are shielded from immediate fluctuations in the international market through contracts with Srbijagas. While no immediate price hikes are expected, the situation is under daily scrutiny, with decisions to be made promptly as circumstances evolve.

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