Hungary’s gas consumption has dropped from the traditional ~10 bcm by 1,5 bcm to 8.5 bcm both on the residential and industrial side but, despite this decrease, the country is still heavily exposed to imports and now is looking for alternatives.
In terms of diversification, the gas supply in Hungary has changed drastically in the last two years. Ukraine used to be the traditional supply route for the country but the major import route has shifted to Serbia. Also, the market sees a change in the direction of the gas flows.
„What we are seeing now is that what was originally built to deliver from East to West or from East to South is now functioning from South to North”, Gabor Szokodi, Director for Trading and Business Development al Hungarian company FGSZ said, at the Central-European Natural Gas Congress, organized by Transgaz recently in Sibiu, Romania.
Also, the Romanian, Serbian, and Croatian interconnectors are working towards Hungary on their technical limit, sometimes. Hungary could try to diversify its supply from Slovakia, but it is not certain that the gas volumes coming from Poland will be enough to satisfy all the demand in the region.
Other possible alternative sources of gas for Hungary are Croatia, which is planning to extend its LNG terminal to 6.1 bcm and this extension jointly with the development of the Croatian system would allow imports from Croatia up to 3.5 bcm, and Romania, especially when the offshore gas reserves will start to be brought to shore. Hungary also hopes to be able to import gas from Greece, Turkey, or Azerbaijan through the Romanian transmission system.