Latvia pays most for gas in EU

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According to an European Commission report, among European countries Latvia is paying the most for pipeline natural gas deliveries. Only liquefied natural gas (LNG) Lithuania imports from Norway is more expensive, reported Saturday.

Gas prices are up to 33% lower in Western Europe.

In the first quarter of this year Lithuania bought LNG from Norway for an average of €21.96/MWh (the EU gas prices are measured not by volume but rather by heat produced).

While Latvia received Russian pipeline gas for €21.86/MWh, according to the Market Observatory for Energy of the European Commission report on the European gas market.

These are the highest prices countries pay for gas in Europe. Greece pays the second highest price for LNG at €18.74/MWh and pipeline gas is the second most expensive for Slovenia at €21.68/MWh.

Natural gas delivered by pipelines from Russia is cheaper both in Lithuania (€20.11/MWh) and Estonia (€18.21/MWh).

Gas was cheapest in Belgium at €12.82/MWh for pipeline gas and €12.86/MWh for LNG.

The report says that in the second quarter of 2016 gas prices grew in Latvia despite a general decline in Europe.

Late last year Latvia paid €19.98 per MWh of Natural gas, while the figure for Lithuania was €23.3 and €21.65 for Estonia. According to estimates, gas prices shrunk 13.6% in Lithuania and 15.8% in Estonia, growing 9.5% in Latvia.

The Baltics and Finland get most of their gas from Russia, except for the LNG Lithuania receives via the Klaipeda terminal. Latvia's gas market is not yet liberalized with Latvijas Gāze's (LG) monopoly still unchecked.

Last week LG shareholders voted in favor of unbundling its gas transmission and storage business to a new company called Conexus Baltic Grid. Latvijas Gāze will retain its gas distribution and sales business.

LG must be split in two companies - one for operating the gas transmission and storage system and the other for dealing with natural gas distribution and sale - by April 3, 2017. 

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