Slovakia has enough oil and natural gas, for now

The first tanker with liquefied gas for Slovakia will arrive in March.

Gas transmitter EustreamGas transmitter Eustream (Source: Sme)

Slovakia has enough oil and natural gas as supplies of these commodities from Russia continue without any interruptions, Economy Minister Richard Sulík said after the crisis staff meeting of his ministry on Friday evening. He refused to say what impact possible sanctions would have and what turning off the oil and gas pipelines would mean for Slovakia, a country that is one of the most dependent on Russian gas and oil out of the EU member countries.

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“I am in favour of the EU acting as a whole, and before any decision is made, it is a good idea to discuss it inside of the EU,” said Sulík.

Slovakia has not registered any drop in the supplies of crude oil from Russia; the volumes and pressure in the pipeline are standard. Strategic stocks are high enough to cover the needs of Slovakia for more than 100 days while the Slovnaft and Transpetrol energy companies have their own stocks.

In the event of a suspension of oil supplies from Russia, the refinery Slovnaft will secure oil supplies via the Adria pipeline, which goes to Slovakia from Hungary, noted Sulík.

In terms of natural gas, the flow is uninterrupted. The volumes of supplied gas are currently even higher compared with the previous week, said Karol Galek, state secretary of the Economy Ministry. On top of that, after the gas crisis in 2009, Slovakia has diversified gas supply routes. Slovakia can also import gas via the reverse flow from Austria or the Czech Republic. Slovakia can get gas through the Slovak-Hungarian pipeline too.

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In response to the increasing tensions, Slovakia has also started importing liquefied gas by tankers, the first of which should arrive in March with enough gas to cover Slovakia's needs for one week.

“Of course, to bring gas from America with a tanker will be more expensive than getting it via a pipeline from Russia,” said Sulík. “But this is life and we have to learn to live with this.”

Sulík admitted that gas prices would increase as a consequence of the war in Ukraine in all probability, but he was not able to specify how much.

Steelmaker U.S. Steel Košice, which produces steel from iron ore and coal imported from Russia and Ukraine, has stocks of both commodities that could last for 90 days, so it does not expect any urgent problems.

Sulík refused to provide information about nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants in Slovakia imported from Russia as this is classified information.

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