“It’s a step forward towards opening the Latvian market,” Mantas Dubauskas, adviser to Lithuania’s Minister of Energy, told the Lithuania Tribune. “Of course, there’s a lot of work left to be done. We are thankful to the Latvian High Court for their decision, but the rules still have to be drafted. That has to be done by Latvijas Gaze, which is partially owned by Gazprom.” These rules and conditions are one of the only remaining hurdles, as the infrastructure needed to transfer this gas is already in place.
Many of Lithuania’s recent moves in the energy sector, like the completion of the Klaipėda LNG terminal, have been efforts to reduce Gazprom’s influence over the Lithuanian gas market. Gazprom is a significant shareholder in Latvijas Gaze. “Of course, they may try to drag things along, but we hope that it won’t take too long,” said Dubauskas.
“We’ve seen what the introduction of competition can do to markets,” said Dubauskas. He claims that the opening of gas exports to Latvia will reduce prices for consumers.
In other reports, Lithuanian Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis has reported that the gas could begin flowing in anywhere from 6 months to a year.