The Slovak parliament approved revisions to several energy laws on February 17 which will give the state higher control over underground natural gas reservoirs. The government cabinet had approved revisions to laws on the energy sector, on regulation of network industries and to the mining law in late January in response to this year’s natural gas crisis.
Parliament’s approval of this package provides the state with a better position to avert a gas supply crisis in the future since Slovakia will have underground gas reservoirs under its control, said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Operators of underground gas reservoirs will be required hold a 30 consecutive day reserve of the average daily volume supplied to customers in the event of halted or limited Russian gas supplies over the period from November 1 to March 31.
The state will also have greater control over underground reservoirs during a time crisis as reservoir operators will, for example, be required to suspend gas extraction for foreign customers in such an emergency situation if asked to do so by the Economy Ministry, SITA wrote.
The legislation will also give more powers to the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO) which will be able to regulate prices for gas storage and have the right to check the usage of gas reservoirs at any time.
The changes in the mining law will give the state the power to determine who will be potential users of underground gas reservoirs. At the same time, the state will require the Economy Ministry to grant approval to any company which wants to rent reservoirs or the natural gas in them.
Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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