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MOL brings emergency gas storage online

Hungarian oil and gas group MOL has completed and begun to fill an emergency gas storage facility, which will supply natural gas in case of a disruption in gas shipments, MOL said.

The underground storage facility, converted from the mostly depleted Szőreg 1 gas reservoir, has a 1.9 billion cubic meter capacity, of which 1.2 billion will be used for emergency backup and another 700 million for commercial purposes. The emergency storage is enough to supply Hungarian households and municipal consumers with natural gas for 45 days, at a peak capacity of 20 million cubic meters per day.

The facility cost HUF 150 billion ($815.7 million), and is a joint venture between MOL, which owns 72.5% of the project, and the Hungarian Hydrocarbon Stockpiling Association, which has 27.5%.

Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, who attended an opening ceremony in Algyő, in the southeast of Hungary, said the facility was an important safeguard against supply risks stemming from political tensions between Russia, which supplies about 80% of Hungary's gas, and Ukraine, which is a transit country for Russian gas. Bajnai said energy supply security was a top aim of his government and efforts were being made to explore all potential avenues for securing gas, as well as the emergency storage. (Reuters)