Changes in the use of the Inčukalns gas storage facility come into force

Natural Gas

Public Utilities Commission of Latvia (Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija – SPRK) has approved amendments to the Inčukalns underground gas storage usage regulation. The amendments came into force on the 14th March, 2020. Storage capacity booking will start on the 17th March, 2020.

The available capacity has been published on Conexus Baltic Grid website on the 16th of March, as defined in the Regulations - one day before the start of storage capacity booking. Here You will find the information on storage capacity:

Amended regulation determines that capacity will be allocated after a 24h period for submitting the applications for capacity product booking, thereby ensuring equal opportunities for all market participants. The amendments set out the procedure for the booking and use of the two-year bundled capacity product.

The amendments have introduced new storage capacity product. It is envisaged to make use of the stock transfer product, aiming at minimising the stocks at the end of natural gas withdrawal season.

At the same time the storage operator will face additional requirements on information transparency – information on available and technical storage capacity shall be published not only for the current storage cycle, but also for the next one. This is necessary for better planning of storage capacity booking and use.

The approved wording of amendments have not changed significantly compared to the draft amendments consulted publicly. The exact start and end times of natural gas injection and withdrawal season are specified. The injection season will start on the 1st May and will last until the 14th October of the relevant year. The withdrawal season will run from the 15th October to the 30th April till the following year.

The arrangements for transferring of the remaining stocks for the next storage cycle are also specified. In particular, regardless of the type of booked capacity product for stocks exceeding 5% of the total booked capacity of the product concerned, it will be considered that the system user has booked stock transfer product for the next storage cycle in the relevant quantity of stocks, which will be subject to the stock transfer product tariff for the next storage cycle.

During the public consultation SPRK received 41 proposals from 6 market participants. Of these, 39 proposals were taken into account, while two were not.