EU excludes Serbia from natural gas emergency plan

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The European Commission has established an emergency plan for gas supply in crisis situations, which does not mention Serbia.

This is the case although Serbia is a party to the Energy Community Treaty with the EU.

The Serbian Ministry of Energy has declined to comment on these most recent moves made in Brussels.

Money makes the world go round – or, in the modern world context, natural gas makes the world go round where politics fails to. The EU’s positions diverge from those held by Russia on a great number of issues – but the organization has had no problem reaching a deal with Russia to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

It will allow additional volumes of Russian gas to be supplied to Europe, to a final destination in Germany. Serbia, at least at the moment, is not in these plans.

“Such a decision of the European Commission to, in a way, erase us, I think is not fair toward us,” say Vojislav Vuletic, president of the Assembly of the Serbian Gas Association.

According to him, “our options, and the options of Europe in the next five to ten years are to rely on Russian gas.”

“The capacity of Banatski Dvor (storage facility in northern Serbia) is 400 million cubic meters of gas per year. We spend about two to 2.5 billion a year, and that means that Banatski Dvor can cover only one fifth,” he explains.

Editor of the economy-oriented Balkan Magazine Jelica Putnikovic also thinks that despite the complex political circumstances, “at least the energy sense prevails over ideological divisions.” She thinks that the key is the agreement between Berlin and Moscow.

“Simply, the Russians have already agreed with Germany, the Netherlands, with their gas companies to build Nord Stream 2. And since Gazprom already has its share in gas storage facilities in Europe, it will be able to deliver not only to Serbia but also to some other customers the contracted volumes,” Putnikovic said.

Vojislav Vuletic, meanwhile, says that stories about shale gas supplies from the United States and about a gas pipeline that would lead to the island of Krk in Croatia are “stories for the laypeople” – while Serbia has no money to fund such a project.

“So, you would need to produce gas out there in Nevada, from shale, and then transport it by pipeline and compress it, to the coast of the Atlantic. To build a plant on the shores of the Atlantic for converting natural gas into a liquid state. To fill a number of gas transporting tankers with this gas and ship it across the ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, to Krk. To build another plant for regasification of liquid gas, and to build pipelines,” he described the process.

The United States currently does not export gas produced from shale.

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