Romanian natural gas storage facilities have been filled above an EU-mandated target of 80 percent and could reach a targeted 90 percent next month, deputy Energy Minister Dan Dragan said.
Unlike other countries in south and eastern Europe, Romania is less dependent on Russian gas.
It produces about 90 percent its required gas locally through state producer Romgaz, oil and gas group OMV Petrom and Black Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG).
Romania has also met its European Union-mandated storage target but may still need to import gas this winter.
The European Union’s reliance on Russian gas coupled with the risk that Moscow could cut supplies has pushed the bloc to fill storage sites to an 80 percent target by Oct.1, when the European heating season begins.
“We hope to be close to 90 percent by Nov. 1 which will give us stability this winter,” Dragan said at an energy seminar on Monday, Reuters reported. “Stored volumes are significant and above previous winters.”
Russian pipeline flows of gas to Europe are now only a fraction of what they were in recent years, with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, halted indefinitely., controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group, launched its offshore gas platform in Romania’s Black Sea territorial waters earlier this year.
There is a huge potential for further gas discoveries in Romania’s Black Sea waters, but the government needs to improve regulation to speed development, the country’s top gas producers said last month.
On Friday the gas network operators of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia proposed shipping additional natural gas supply pledged by Azerbaijan to Europe.