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MOL to start filling gas store soon

A strategic gas store Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is building under a government mandate will be ready to be filled with a daily 10 million cubic meters of gas from September 30, Bence Novák, CEO of MMBF, the MOL unit building the store, told MTI on Tuesday.

Some 300 cubic meters of gas are already in the strategic store, which MOL is building at its spent Szoreg-1 gas field. The store is to be filled with 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas by the end of 2010 under legislation introduced in 2006.

Novák confirmed that the store would be built and filled by the end of 2010. The project will not go over budget, he said.

The project is to cost HUF 150 billion, including HUF 65 billion for the purchase price of the gas field, Econews reported earlier.

The field will have a daily release capacity of 25 million cubic meters of gas, more than the 20 million cubic meters mandated by law as some of the gas in the store will be for commercial sale.

Currently, E.ON Földgáz Storage is the only company in Hungary with an operating gas store. The unit of German utilities giant E.ON has 3.74 billion cubic meters of capacity and a daily release capacity of 51.5 million cubic meters. The release capacity is enough to meet 55% of daily demand in the winter.

E.ON Földgáz Storage is expanding its gas store by another 600 million cubic meters and expects to start filling the new capacity in October. The expansion will raise the store's release capacity to a daily 55 million cubic meters.

E.ON Földgáz Storage has 2.6 billion cubic meters of gas in store now, spokesman István Kutas said when asked by MTI. (MTI-Econews)