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Hungary, Croatia mull gas market integration

Hungary and Croatia have agreed to establish a joint working group to weigh the possibility of integrating the two countriesʼ gas markets, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Zagreb on Wednesday after meeting with Croatian Minister of Environment and Energy Tomislav Ćorić.

The Krk LNG terminal in Croatia (photo:

Integrating the gas markets of Hungary and Croatia and eliminating cross-border gas tariffs would create a bigger market and make it easier to negotiate with gas traders, Szijjártó said.

The Croatian side said it is open to the proposal and agreed to set up the working group to consider potential issues and prepare government responses, he added.

Szijjártó said the sides also agreed they could then negotiate jointly with big energy companies that could supply a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off the Croatian coast. The LNG terminal could be supplied by companies and resources from Qatar, Algeria and the U.S., he added.

The minister noted that the Hungarian government earlier decided to make an offer to Croatia to acquire just over 25% of the LNG terminal, conditional on the price Hungarian companies can buy gas there. He said gas cannot be contracted at the terminal at a competitive price at present, as the price offered is well over the price for which gas can be bought in Hungary.