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Lithuania to start talks with Gazprom on new contract next year

VILNIUS - VILNIUS, Oct 15, BNS - Although Lithuania’s current long-term gas supply contract with Gazprom expires at the end of this year, Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (Lithuanian Gas Supply) will start talks with the Russian gas giant on a new deal next year as the existing contract will give the country enough Russian gas, the CEO of the Lithuanian gas import company has said.

“We have certain volumes under the existing contract, which we did not purchase last year. We have an agreement that these volumes are to be carried over to next year. The necessary minimum volume is ensured and the rest is a matter of negotiation,” Mantas Mikalajunas told members of the parliament’s Energy Commission on Wednesday.
According to the CEO, negotiations with Gazprom will be held next year after Lithuania decides how much Russian gas it needs.

“Normal talks will have to be held during the coming year. Before that, a political decision has to be made as to how much gas and in what proportions is to be purchased from each source (Russia and the Klaipeda LNG terminal),” he said.
Mikalajunas did not disclose to BNS what gas volumes would be carried over to the coming year, nor did he say if the two companies would sign any document at the end of this year.
Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis has also said recently that the existing contract gives Lithuania enough gas for another year or two.

The current contract with Gazprom, which expires at the end of this year, has a “take-or-pay” clause.
Masiulis told BNS earlier this year that this meant that it was not necessary for Lithuania to sign a new contract for 2016 as the country would be able to purchase gas it had not bought under the old contract.
He did not rule out the possibility that the amount of gas might be sufficient to meet the country’s needs up to the end of 2017.

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