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On Friday, Elering led the first meeting of a crisis committee with the participants of the gas market arising from the declaration of an early warning. The meeting focused on the current situation on the gas market and the possibilities for increasing preparations for overcoming a crisis.

The participants of the gas market acknowledged that the situation of the gas system must be analysed not country-by-country, but as a whole in the entire region. We essentially have a joint market with Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. Estonia is thereby significantly affected by what happens in our neighbouring countries.

In the course of the discussions, the obligation of market participants to submit monthly data to Elering concerning gas balance, consumption, supplies and stock was handled. The technical details of the submission of data need to be specified on a running basis in order to ensure that the submitted data reflects all gas consumption, including the part that, for various reasons, is not covered by contracts of purchase and sale or if the seller provides gas to the consumer directly from the gas exchange.

Discussions were held concerning the change in consumption that has already taken place in Finland and the Baltic States – the first months of this year indicate a decrease in consumption. Initially, there is a lack of clarification whether this means a one-off change arising from the mild winter and various factors or whether it indicates long-term changes in consumption patterns, i.e. the change of certain consumers from gas to alternative fuels. According to preliminary data, the gas consumption of Finland and the Baltics amounted to approximately 19 terawatt-hours from January to April, which is 40 percent less compared to the same period last year.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications declared an early warning for the gas sector on 17 May. The early warning level arises from the legislation of the European Union wherein crisis scenarios of the gas sector are described. Pursuant to legislation, there are three crisis levels, with the early warning being the lowest level. Among the countries neighbouring Estonia, Latvia and Finland have also declared an early warning level.