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Romania Boosts Natural Gas Imports on Record-High Consumption

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Romania boosted its natural-gas imports in the past week after consumption reached a record because of freezing temperatures, Deputy Economy Minister Claudiu Stafie said.

Gas-consumption increased 20 percent to 69 million cubic meters yesterday and will rise further to about 70 million cubic meters a day by Feb. 3, Stafie said during a televised speech in Bucharest today. That compares with consumption of about 57 million cubic meters now, according to Stafie.

“We are facing record gas consumption and we can’t extract more from our fields, that’s why we increased imports,” Stafie said. “We imported 17.5 million cubic meters of gas today and we’ll secure about 20 million cubic meters for tomorrow.”

Worsening weather and blizzards that blocked roads and cut electricity to dozens of towns since Jan. 26, boosted heating consumption. The temperature is expected to drop to about minus 27 degrees Celsius (minus 16.6 Fahrenheit) on Feb. 3 in some areas, the national meteorological administration said.

Romgaz SA, the country’s natural-gas company, said it is currently producing the maximum output from the operating fields in the country and delivers gas to E.ON AG’s and GDF Suez’s Romanian units, according to a statement on its website.

Gas prices fell about 5 percent today to $2.571 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after they posted the biggest weekly gain in more than one year last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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