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Serbia has to pay 4.7 million dollars a day for missing gas

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Thanks to the habit of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, to “overhear” his associates about the situation in the departments they manage, the public learned that “Srbijagas” pays for the purchase of the missing six million cubic meters of gas daily, at “peppery” stock exchange prices.
That information was disclosed three days ago, at the session of the Government of Serbia, which was also attended by President Vučić, where the causes of the collapse of the electric power system in Serbia after the first snow fell were discussed. Vučić stated that during the conversation with Dušan Bajatović, director of “Srbijagas”, Serbia, despite the fact that Moscow extended the duration of the contract for the purchase of “blue energy” in the next six months, must also procure gas on the stock exchange.
What attentive followers of events in the domestic gas sector surprised with the lack of gas President Vučić said when he was the one who announced at the end of November, after a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the first man of the Russian Federation, that the price of Russian gas for Serbia in the next six months, not only will it remain the same, but an “increase in the amount of gas” has been agreed for our country.
From the conversation between Vučić and Bajatović, we now learn that the President of Serbia agreed with his Russian counterpart only that Serbia would receive “blue energy” by July next year at the old price of 270 dollars for 1,000 cubic meters, and not new quantities. It turned out that the growth of deliveries at the current price was a job that Vučić left to Bajatović to negotiate with the representatives of the Russian state giant.
– “Bajatović, you have returned from St. Petersburg with unfinished business, you are leaving again next week, right?” The president asked the director of “Srbijagas”. Bajatović replied that talks with the Russians on that issue would continue on Monday, and that “the problem remained the price for additional quantities of gas needed by Serbia due to increased consumption.”
– The problem, Bajatović, is that we have not done the expansion of the Underground Warehouse “Banatski Dvor” for years, that we spent those reserves at high speed, not counting that in the coming period there may be complications due to cold days,” said Vucic. However, he believes that “the Russians will meet us and we will solve the gas issue.”
One of the things that Gazprom needs to “solve” is to approve the increase in gas supplies to Serbia from 2.6 billion cubic meters per year to three billion, as requested by our side.
In the meantime, Serbia will have to procure the missing quantities of gas at astronomical stock exchange prices of as much as 4.7 million dollars a day. The average price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas reaches the level of about 790 dollars. In Serbia, between 12 and 16 million cubic meters of gas are consumed daily, of which we lack about six million cubic meters per day.
This cost comes to the ten million euros we pay every day for the import of electricity at stock exchange prices, due to the collapse of the Nikola Tesla thermal power plant after one day of snowfall. We paid more than 25 million euros there until Tuesday alone, and today is Friday.
Energy expert Goran Radosavljevic points out for Danas that there are two reasons why Serbia currently has to pay for expensive gas on foreign stock exchanges.
– The first is that the underground gas storage “Banatski Dvor” has not been expanded. It was announced several years ago that the process would start, but in the meantime it did not happen, nor was it officially announced why it was not realized. If the warehouse was expanded, Serbia could extract the missing quantities from it instead of buying them. The second reason is that a good estimate has not been made of how much consumption there will be in Serbia in the long run, which has caused insufficient quantities of gas to be found in the storage. The epilogue is that Serbia now has to buy gas on the stock exchanges, where it is very expensive, in order to cover the increased consumption in that way – Radosavljevic concludes, Danas reports.

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