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Algerian LNG for Greece?

Greece is considering additional liquefied natural gas supply from Algeria to cover shortages if the dispute between Russia and Ukraine disrupts pipeline deliveries.

DEPA SA may have to pay $150 million to $200 million to secure extra cargoes for December and January, the peak months of winter demand, George Spanoudis, the state-run gas supplier’s chairman, said in an interview in London. The nation, which gets two-thirds of its gas from Russia’s OAO Gazprom, may not be able to offset shortfalls under the existing contracts with Turkey and Algeria that meet the rest of demand, he said.

Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will meet Oct. 21 to discuss a resolution to a price and debt dispute that saw Gazprom halt supplies to Ukraine in June. While Greece lost as much as two-thirds of its gas supply when flows via Ukraine were cut in a similar conflict during freezing weather in January 2009, it was able to buy LNG to limit the effects of the shortfall and supply neighboring Bulgaria, according to the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies.

“We are preparing for a short crisis, hoping that the crisis will not take place,” Spanoudis said Oct. 10. “The Algerian contract can be extended through discussions we are having as well, to supply extra vessels of LNG.”

Greece is one of the best prepared European Union nations for a possible disruption of Russian gas supplies in the winter, has met so-called EU gas stress tests and is ready for all scenarios, Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis said Sept. 30. Neighboring Bulgaria, which is 89% dependent on Russian gas, is “extremely vulnerable” to a disruption, Felix Hoeffler, director at University of Cologne, said Sept. 25.