With the start of the traditionally coldest winter period, the unified natural gas transmission and storage system operator JSC Conexus Baltic Grid has intensified the control system that monitors the gas supply system of Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage (Inčukalns UGS) and the whole Latvia. Main task of the control system is to follow the fluctuations in natural gas request in Latvia and Baltic Region in total during the removal season to evaluate timely the ability of the gas supply system to provide the reservations and request of system users.
The intensified control system anticipates that JSC Conexus Baltic Grid experts analyse the dynamics of natural gas request considering the ambient temperature fluctuations, Inčukalns UGS removal capacities and requests of natural gas system users.
Zane Kotāne, Chairperson of the Board of JSC Conexus Baltic Grid informs: “Improvement of natural gas request control system is a preventive measure to follow the natural gas supply security and react accordingly in cases of natural gas supply security risks. These could be cases when request for natural gas exceeds the technical abilities of gas supply system. It’s no secret that Latvia almost experienced such situation in the previous winter season, so this was out task to do all possible to increase the readiness to react timely.”
When characterizing the current situation, JSC Conexus Baltic Grid states that currently the volume of natural gas removed from Inčukalns UGS corresponds to what is observed also in other years during this season. The operative data evidence that the volume of natural gas available for the season 2018/2019 in the mid-January was 9 TWh, that currently is enough for the volume required for Latvian gas supply needs.
Problems in natural gas system can be caused by different factors – first, continuous cold. Secondly, the situation is aggravated by the fact that Inčukalns UGS is not completely filled. This means that during the active removal season in case of large request removal capacity of natural gas from the storage can be limited and it cannot be secured to all system users in the volume they have requested. In this case, JSC Conexus Baltic Grid asks also the system users to involve in solving the problem and consider the options to purchase additional volumes of natural gas from neighbouring markets.
The monitoring system anticipates the surveillance of natural gas system for the following two weeks. If there are threating natural gas supply problems, JSC Conexus Baltic Grid is obliged to inform the Ministry of Economics.