On May 23, the JSC "Latvijas Gāze" terminated the supply of natural gas from the Inčukalns UGS and began the injection of natural gas. This year the injection started about a month later than usual due to the atypically warm winter and the vast reserves.
The unconsumed reserves enabled an extended period of supply from the facility to the consumers in Latvia, Estonia and Russia, and additional repairs at the Inčukalns UGS and in the transmission network connecting Latvia and Russia, which is not possible during injection.
During the heating season, the consumers in Latvia were supplied 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas from the Inčukalns UGS. The neighbouring countries Russia, Estonia and Lithuania together were supplied around 900 million cubic metres of natural gas. Both Latvia and the neighbouring countries were supplied by around 100 million cubic metres less than in the previous season.
The total reserves are 425 million cubic metres of natural gas, including nearly 300 million cubic metres for the needs of Latvia. On April 11 last year, the reserves were 180 million cubic metres.
By autumn it is planned to reach the same volume of active natural gas as in previous years - 2.3 billion cubic metres. Since there is much gas left at the facility, a later injection will not cause problems as the volume due for injection will be lower.
During heating seasons, all the gas for Latvian consumption is supplied from the storage facility. In summer, the consumers are supplied natural gas directly from the Russian transmission system with a simultaneous injection into the facility. The injection normally lasts from April till October, while the withdrawal takes place from October till March or April.
The storage facility was put into operation in 1968, and its purpose is to store natural gas for the following heating season where there is a substantial increase in natural gas consumption and it is not possible to supply a sufficient volume of fuel through gas transmission pipelines from the Siberian fields.
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