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Energy Conference in Bratislava discusses gas reserves

The construction of state gas reserves would be exorbitantly costly, which would translate into higher gas prices, Karel Hirman from the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) said at a conference devoted to the EU's energy policies and Slovakia's energy security entitled "Common European Union Energy Policy and Slovak Energy Security" that was held in Bratislava on November 23, the TASR newswire wrote.

The construction of state gas reserves would be exorbitantly costly, which would translate into higher gas prices, Karel Hirman from the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) said at a conference devoted to the EU's energy policies and Slovakia's energy security entitled "Common European Union Energy Policy and Slovak Energy Security" that was held in Bratislava on November 23, the TASR newswire wrote.

“I believe that nobody in Europe is treading this path,” said Hirman, adding that discussion regarding the idea has been moved to the back burner because it is is pointless from both the energy security and business perspectives.

According to Hirman, the creation of gas reservoirs constitutes business for those who sell gas, i.e. gas companies. This is because the companies need to respond to high demand for gas in winter. For instance, the demand for gas in Slovakia is eight-fold in the winter season compared to summer.

“Gas from the reservoirs primarily doesn't cover situations when there's no gas supply from the supplier. These situations are dealt with by diversification of gas supplies from various suppliers and by various routes, this is the basic difference compared to oil reserves,” said Hirman.

The current capacity of Slovak gas reservoirs exceeds 2 billion cubic metres. “This capacity is fully sufficient to cover Slovakia's needs, of course providing that the gas flow from the supplier to our system is sufficient,” he added. Hirman told TASR that a gas crisis in Slovakia similar to that in January 2009 isn't imminent this winter as Slovak gas utility SPP has signed agreements with its suppliers to avoid such a situation reoccurring.

The gas crisis in January 2009 has also had positive effects, head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia Andrea Elscheková-Matisová said at the conference.

“Everybody experienced what 98-percent dependence on one supplier means,” she told the TASR. According to her, the state of emergency led to impossible solutions becoming possible. The reverse-flow supply of natural gas from the Czech Republic was a great example of European regional solidarity, she thinks. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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