Friday, 20 May 2022

Slovenia's Geoplin Without Additional Capacities at Krk LNG Terminal

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Slovenia's Geoplin gas operator has failed to get the remaining free capacity at the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, so it will probably have to turn to other sources to end its dependence on the Russian natural gas, Slovenian media outlets reported on Friday.

The second-largest Slovenian wholesale natural gas supplier Geoplin was left "empty-handed" in the tender for the remaining free capacity in Omišalj, which despite different expectations, went to the natural gas company Prvo Plinarsko Društvo (PPD), a Croatian partner of the Russian Gazprom, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) said, quoting local media outlets.

The fact that Geoplin did not get capacities at the LNG terminal on Krk is a big blow to Slovenia's plans to overcome the energy crisis that could occur in the autumn if the war in Ukraine continues and the EU does not lift the sanctions against Russia, Slovenian media outlets say.

The managing director of the Krk LNG terminal, Hrvoje Krhen, told Hina that he wasn't allowed to comment on business relations but also that Geoplin wasn't a user of the LNG terminal.

"Geoplin isn't a user of the terminal, but it can, like everyone else, be supplied with gas through any of our users," the managing director said.

Today, Slovenia gets most of its gas from Russia, based on Geoplin's long-term contract with Gazprom.

In early April, after a meeting with Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, former Croatian Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said that Slovenia was "very interested" in gas from the LNG terminal on Krk. Ćorić then said that the terminal ensured 300 million m3 in additional capacity, for which a tender was advertised.

Vrtovec said Slovenia was considering diversifying gas supply so as not to be dependent on supply from one country, that is, Russia. He underscored that the LNG terminal would increase its capacity and advertise a tender for 300 million m3 of gas and that Slovenia was very interested to be part of that agreement.

The infrastructure for the additional 300 million cubic meters of natural gas already exists, Vrtovec then said, adding that Slovenia would be able to procure nearly one-third of its gas needs via the LNG terminal off Krk island in the northern Adriatic.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Croatia to Increase Gas Production From Six New Wells

ZAGREB, 18 March (2022) - While the gas crisis is shaking Europe, Croatia is increasing its domestic production of that energy source, the Večernji List daily reported on Friday.

According to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, Croatia produced 0.78 billion cubic metres of gas last year, which satisfied 30 percent of the domestic gas demand which amounts to 2.7 billion cubic metres.

With the production from new sources this year with an additional 285 million cubic metres of gas, total domestic production will exceed 1 billion cubic metres and will cover 40% of domestic demand.

The agency notes that the new production of hydrocarbons in Croatia will come from the Pannonian basin where exploration is currently being conducted by the INA oil company, Vermilion Zagreb Exploration and Aspect Croatia Kft. This is the result of exploration that the government and the companies agreed upon in 2016.

The Canadian Vermilion company is expected to start producing new quantities of natural gas in the next period from the exploitation fields in Berak and Cerić in eastern Slavonia with an estimated initial amount of 250,000 cubic metres a day from each well.

The agency also expects new reserves of gas discovered by INA with an estimated initial quantity of about 55,700 cubic metres a day. In addition, contracts are expected to be closed with Aspect Croatia Kft. and Vermilion Zagreb Exploration in fields in central Croatia and that they will be just as successful.

The agency added that there is still great potential in the northern Adriatic for several successful development wells that are expected to produce new quantities of gas for the domestic gas system. Last year in cooperation with the Edison company, INA drilled a well called "Irena 2 South" and discovered new gas reserves.

INA on Thursday reported that it has launched production of natural gas from its Ika B-1R DIR well and that it has been connected to the IKA B production platform. The well is located in the Ika gas field which is part of the northern Adriatic exploitation field. It has secured the entry of a new 150,000 cubic metres of natural gas a day for Croatia's gas system, the Večernji List reported.

For more, check out our business section.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Croatian Energy Sector 2021: An Overview

March 7th, 2022 - An overview of the Croatian Energy Sector 2021. 

The energy sector is a hot topic these days, and it is not a coincidence since rising prices of electricity, natural gas, and crude oil determine the prices in the overall economy. Energy prices determine the production costs, transportation costs, electricity costs, heating costs among many others. There is a rising concern over the ecological impact of the energy sector as well as the geopolitical impact that has never been more relevant. 

Taking into consideration the aforementioned effects, I will shortly go through the energy statistics for 2021 reported by DZS which will give a short description of the Croatian energy sector as it was in 2021. 


In 2021, Croatia had total net production of electricity at 14 686 GWh, which is an increase of 14% compared to 2020. Exports and imports amounted to 7505 and 11 342 GWh which leads to 18 359 GWh of electricity available for the inland market. Exports recorded the highest growth with a 28% increase compared to 2020. It should be noted that the imports also include electricity produced by the nuclear power plant Krško in Slovenia of which HEP (Croatian state-owned electricity group) holds 50%.


In 2021, 48.8% of the electricity produced in Croatia came from hydropower, 29.6% from thermal power plants and CHP on fossil fuels, 14% from wind power, and 6.5% from thermal power plants and CHP on renewable fuels. Solar power plants and geothermal power plants accounted for only 1%. Around 70% of Croatia's total net production comes from renewable resources.




In 2021, production of natural gas in Croatia amounted to 780 mln m3, which is a decrease of 12% compared to 2020. Imports amounted to 2240 mln m3 with an increase of 4%, while exports reached 76 mln m3. From natural gas that is available for the inland market, 76.5% comes from imports. Croatia is clearly a natural gas net importer with an export-to-import ratio of 0.03.  


In 2021, the production of crude oil in Croatia reached 558 thousand tonnes, a decrease of 4.6% compared to 2020. Imports were at 1767 and exports at 490 thousand tonnes. Both imports and exports were experiencing a year-on-year decrease with 9.2% and 22.5% each, respectively. Refinery input in 2021 was 1849 thousand tonnes which were also lower by 5.8%. Again, as with natural gas, Croatia is a crude oil net importer with an export-to-import ratio of 0.27. 


In 2021, 2461 thousand tonnes of petroleum products were produced in Croatia which is a decrease of 4.9% compared to 2020. Gas/Diesel oil had the biggest share with 45%, followed by motor gasoline with 24%.


All observed categories of petroleum products experienced a decrease in the level of production, except for fuel oil which saw an increase of 5%. The same holds for imports and exports, all of the categories except fuel oil saw an increase in imports and decrease in exports compared to 2020. 


Looking at the export-import ratio we can see that Croatia is a net exporter in both motor gasoline and fuel oil with ratios of 1.875 and 21.91 in that order. On the other hand, Croatia is a net importer of Gas/Diesel oil and other petroleum products with ratios of 0.49 and 0.59. The category of petroleum products as a whole also has higher imports than exports with a ratio of 0.73. 


Crude fuels are made of hard coal, coke, and brown coal. Croatia does not produce either of these three subcategories of crude fuels. In 2021 Croatia has imported 669 thousand tonnes of hard coal, 29 thousand tonnes of coke, and 4 thousand tonnes of brown coal. Comparing the import data with 2020, we can observe an increase of both hard coal and coke imports by 13.4% and 3.6% respectively. On the contrary brown coal, imports have decreased by 77.8%.

 For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Slovenian Petrol Not Interested in Croatian Oil and Gas Exploration

November the 9th, 2021 - Croatian oil and gas exploration isn't of particular interest to Petrol from neighbouring Slovenia following the postponement of the conclusion of an exploration contract.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, before the Slovenian Petrol completed their acquisition of Crodux Derivati Dva (2), the company informed the Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development this summer that it was giving up on its exploration mission on two onshore fields, namely S11 and S12, for which it received a concession back in the August of 2019.

According to the official explanation as to why Croatian oil and gas exploration was being put back on the shelf, Crodux first asked for a postponement of the conclusion of the exploration contract and the division of hydrocarbon exploitation, and then reported that they were giving up on the exploration entirely. The exploration period for the above-mentioned fields was set to last five years, and in the event that gas or oil did end up being found, a 25-year period of its subsequent exploitation would have followed.

The Croatian Government's explicit permission for this was a precondition for opening a contract negotiation procedure, followed by the signing of the said contract, but Crodux first cited various difficulties due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and asked for a postponement of the conclusion of the contract, before giving up on it entirely.

The aforementioned ministry received the notification back on June the 7th, and Ivan Cermak withdrew from the position of President of the Management Board of Crodux, which was in the process of taking over from Petrol slightly earlier on, more precisely on June the 1st, meaning that it can be concluded that the new owner of Crodux has no interest in continuing Croatian oil and gas exploration, at least at the moment.

After the withdrawal, a bank guarantee was activated, which pumped a massive 3.75 million kuna into the Croatian state budget.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Construction of Omišalj-Zlobin Gas Pipeline Going as Planned

ZAGREB, March 3, 2020 - The construction of a gas pipeline for the LNG terminal along the Omišalj-Zlobin route is going according to plan and the completion of that HRK 430 million investment is planned for the end of this year, the Plinacro natural gas transmission company reported on Tuesday.

The construction works, which began in mid-December, are being conducted along the entire gas pipeline route from the future Zlobin hub to the future intersection in Omišalj, Plinacro said in a press release.

Preparations have been conducted along the entire route with 60% of the required trenches already dug out and some sections of the pipeline already put in place in the trenches. Welding has also commenced and work at the intersection sites are underway.

Intensive activities are being conducted on Krk island so that that part of the construction can be completed before the tourism season.

The works should be completed and be ready once the LNG terminal becomes operational to start shipping gas from the terminal along the pipeline.

After the completion of the construction of the first compressor station on Croatia's gas transmission system in Velika Ludina, this is the second largest project of Plinacro's third investment cycle launched in 2018.

The project was supported by the European Commission and received a grant of a little more than €16 million for the costs of construction.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

EBRD and USAID Assist in Connecting Croatia and Bosnia Gas Pipelines

ZAGREB, February 19, 2020 - Representatives of the BH-gas company, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday signed a grant agreement in Sarajevo for a project to connect Bosnia and Herzegovina's and Croatia's gas networks.

BH-gas, which is the largest gas provider and distributor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said in a press release that the agreement would activate funds earmarked for environmental impact and feasibility studies for the South Gas Interconnection project.

The project involved building a gas pipeline from Zagvozd in southern Croatia toward Posušje and on to Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a special pipeline branching off to Mostar.

The project would secure an additional gas supply route for Bosnia and Herzegovina which has been entirely dependent on Russian gas for decades via a trunk pipeline through Serbia.

The project was launched because the Republika Srpska entity authorities refuse to agree to connecting the two countries' gas networks along the shortest and cheapest route, running from Slavonski Brod to Bosanski Brod.

Northern areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina located in the Serb entity still do not have access to gas as an energy product and the authorities in Banja Luka want to build a new pipeline that would pass exclusively across the entity's territory and be connected to Serbia's gas network.

USAID is providing $500,000 for the South Gas Interconnection project while the remaining costs will be covered by the EU.

BH-gas expects the project documentation to be completed by the end of the year.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 17 January 2020

First Compressor Station in Croatian Gas Transport System Put in Operation

ZAGREB, January 17, 2020 - The first compressor station in the Croatian gas transport system was formally put in operation on Friday, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković saying that this investment marked a strategic step that would change Croatia's position on the gas supply market.

The compressor station at Velika Ludina, about 60 kilometres east of Zagreb, is the technologically most complex structure in the Croatian gas transport system. The gas pipeline operator Plinacro has invested 209.5 million kuna (28.3 million euro) in the project, launched in mid-August 2018.

The compressor station will increase gas supply security and enable bi-directional capacity at an interconnection with Hungary, thus enabling the transport of gas from the LNG terminal on Krk island to Hungary and third countries.

Prime Minister Plenković said that this installation, given that it enables bi-directional gas transport, gave a new, strategic dimension to energy and gas supply security in Croatia and opened up new possibilities for cooperation with Hungary and other countries in central and eastern Europe.

"This project also gives meaning to the LNG terminal project on Krk island, which is of paramount importance politically and strategically," the PM said.

Plenković said that the Velika Ludina project showed that Plinacro had a strategic role and was part of both the national critical infrastructure and the European critical infrastructure. He added that installations like this were concrete examples of strengthening the energy infrastructure in Croatia and Europe.

The investment is in line with EU regulation and the goals of the Croatian energy development strategy. Plenkovic said he expected Plinacro to also invest in other projects relating to energy security, particularly in natural gas. As a positive example, he mentioned the construction of a new gas storage facility in Grubišno Polje, about 130 km east of Zagreb.

Asked by the press if he was worried about the currently modest interest in the lease of the LNG terminal capacity, Plenković said that this was a strategic project which had its purpose and that the issue of lease would be dealt with as the project neared completion, citing ongoing talks with Hungarian companies.

Plinacro's CEO Ivica Arar said that the company had begun work on a delivery gas pipeline for the LNG terminal on the Omišalj-Zlobin section.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Croatia's Electricity, Gas Prices Slightly up in H1

ZAGREB, November 26, 2019 - In the first half of 2019, average household electricity prices in the European Union increased slightly compared with the first half of 2018, while gas prices were stable, Eurostat said on Tuesday. In Croatia, the prices of both increased slightly.

In the first half of 2019, average household electricity prices in the EU stood at 21 euro per 100 kWh. Average gas prices stood at 6 euro per 100 kWh.

Taxes and levies accounted for 37% of the electricity bills. For gas bills, the corresponding share was 27%.

Between the first half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, the largest decreases in household electricity prices, in national currencies, were observed in Denmark (-4.3%) and Portugal (-4.1%), followed by Poland (-3.1%) and Greece (-1.3%).

The largest increase was registered in the Netherlands (+20.3%), ahead of Cyprus (+16.4%), Lithuania (+14.4%) and Czechia (+12%).

In Croatia, the household electricity price in the first half of 2019 was 13.21 euro per 100 kWh, up 0.8% on the year. Taxes and levies accounted for 22% of the electricity bills.

Between the first half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, the largest decreases in household gas prices, in national currencies, were observed in Denmark (-1.7%), Hungary (-1.6 %) and Austria (-1.3 %).

In Croatia, the average household gas price was €3.75% per 100 kWh, up 2% from the first half of 2018. Taxes and levies accounted for 20% of the gas bills.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

INA Extracts 21 Billion Cubic Metres of Gas from Northern Adriatic

ZAGREB, October 23, 2019 - The INA oil and gas company on Wednesday marked the 20th anniversary of continued production of natural gas in the Adriatic Sea.

"In the last 20 years over 21 billion cubic metres of gas has been extracted by 18 platforms in the northern Adriatic. These figures encourage us to make further progress in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in Croatia, primarily in the northern Adriatic which offers the potential which I believe we will know how to use," Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said at a ceremony held on the Ivana A platform, located 36 kilometres from the nearest mainland.

Ćorić stressed that hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation was being conducted in line with the highest environmental protection and safety standards. "Successful projects like this testify to the importance of strategic and responsible management of resources with a view to developing the economy and increasing the share of domestic production."

Ćorić visited the platform in the company of INA CEO Sandor Fasimon and the head of the Agency for Hydrocarbons, Marijan Krpan.

Fasimon said: "The purpose of our oil and gas exploration and production activities is to maximise the existing potential domestically, both offshore and onshore. We have incorporated this into our development plans because 15 years from now we want to be proud of our company and remain a reliable partner to the Croatian economy."

Krpan said that the Northern Adriatic project was very demanding in terms of technology and concept and that it put Croatia among countries with the know-how for offshore hydrocarbon production.

Ćorić recalled that INA had begun hydrocarbon exploitation in the northern Adriatic in 1999 and that it was an excellent move. He said that currently 1.1 million cubic metres were extracted daily or about 400 million annually, which is about 15-20 percent of domestic consumption.

"In the last few years we have launched several campaigns for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, all of them onshore. The northern Adriatic offers certain potential and I'm sure we will know how to use it in the future," the minister said.

Asked about the LNG terminal, Ćorić said that it was being built and that it would be operational at the end of 2020. He noted that the LNG terminal would help meet Croatian needs for gas and diversify supply routes for Europe. "The exploitation of hydrocarbons is one way of reducing Croatia's energy dependence, the other being the construction of alternative infrastructure," Ćorić said.

More news about gas in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Sufficient Gas Supplies Ready for Heating Season

ZAGREB, October 15, 2019 - There will be sufficient gas supplies for the coming heating season and the gas price will not change this season whereas in the near future it could fall markedly, it was said on Tuesday during a conference organised by the Croatian Gas Association (HSUP).

During HSUP's annual general assembly the association's president Dalibor Pudić said that there would be enough gas and end-users can expect secure supplies.

"We have never had a shortage of gas and it will be the same again this season. Suppliers' storage capacities are full. It is warm now, however, we cannot know what the weather will be like in one or two months' time even though that is an important fact so that suppliers can know how much gas to order," Pudić said and added that he did not expect the price of gas to change this season.

He underscored, however, that gas prices in future could change, that is go down.

"I expect that gas prices will change in the future and decrease considering the intensity of LNG production while the production of shale gas has decreased from the preceding period by 55% and so we expect that the expansion in the development of LNG gas will make prices significantly lower," added Pudić.

He claimed that over the past year the sale of LNG gas on European markets increased by 100 percent.

Assistant Environment and Energy Minister Domagoj Validžić explained that the LNG terminal being built on Krk Island should be up and running by the end of next year along with the completion of the gas pipeline.

"Gas will have an important role as a transition energy source toward completely clean energy," Validžić said.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

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