“Last year, Romania’s domestic gas consumption stood at 13 billion cubic meters, of which 11 billion cubic meters was covered by the country’s gas production, and the remaining 2 billion cubic meters was covered by imports from Russia. This year, we expect Russian gas imports to double to 4 billion cubic meters, so as to meet the expected demand of 15 billion cubic meters”, the chairman of the National Energy Regulator (ANRE) told NewsIn.

He added that domestic natural gas consumption rose sharply in the first two months of 2010.

“Domestic natural consumption per household has risen markedly due to the long cold winter, but also among chemical plants. So, the domestic consumption level is constant”, the chairman of ANRE pointed out.

The maximum natural gas production from domestic resources cannot exceed 11 billion cubic meters per year.

Romania’s gas consumption fell 15% in 2009 to 140,058,492 MWh (the equivalent of 13.2 billion cubic meters), from 165,015,369 MWh (nearly 15.5 billion cubic meters) a year earlier.

Romania’s domestic gas production stood at 120,443,780 MWh (11 billion cubic meters), or 85.2% from the domestic consumption, according to the energy regulator.

The country’s largest natural gas producers are Petrom (held by OMV Group in Austria) and state-run Romgaz. Romgaz and Petrom covered 97.5% of total domestic gas production, and small producers 2.5%: Amromco, Wintershall Medias, Lotus Petrol and Aurelian Oil&Gas.