Lithuania signs gas contract with non Russian supplier

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    Country Analysis Note
    Since regaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania's economy has expanded rapidly, although its total energy consumption since then has declined.
    Lithuania is not a notable energy producer or consumer, ranking in the bottom five among the European Union countries. Nearly all of Lithuania's energy imports originate in Russia, including crude oil and liquid fuels, natural gas, and coal.
    Prior to 2009, Lithuania generated approximately 77 percent of total net generated electric power from nuclear sources. During that year, Lithuania exported about 58 percent of total generated electricity. However, at the end of 2009, Lithuania closed its last nuclear reactor and electricity ceased to be the country's major export commodity. Lithuania's nuclear power reactors were similar in type to those in the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine.
    Following the closure of the nuclear reactors in 2009, Lithuania became dependent on electricity imports to satisfy its demand. Although most of its 2012 electricity imports came from Russia (63 percent), Lithuania also imports electricity from Estonia (about 26 percent), Latvia (7 percent), and Belarus (nearly 4 percent).
    Lithuania produced approximately 8,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of liquid fuels, including 2,000 bbl/d of crude oil, but consumed 60,000 bbl/d in 2011. Crude oil and condensate imports came from Russia, as did the entire 120 billion cubic feet of natural gas consumed during the year.
    Total imports of liquid fuels in 2012 were about 190 thousand bbl/d, as Lithuania exported about 130 thousand bbl/d of refined product to its neighbors, mainly Estonia and Latvia.
    Lithuania is home to two ice-free ports in Northern Europe, Klaipeda and Butinge. Approximately 160,000 bbl/d of crude oil is imported through the Butinge port, which mainly feeds the Mazeikiai refinery, located in eastern Lithuania. Mazeikiai is the only refinery in the Baltic countries.
    Although the last nuclear reactor was shuttered in 2009, in its 2012 energy policy, Lithuania's government recognized the difficulty associated with its near complete dependence on Russia's energy supplies. The new policy centers on building a new nuclear plant in Ignalina (near the border of Latvia and Belarus), construction of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, and rebuilding the electric power grid. The policy plans to reduce reliance on Russia's energy to 55 percent in 2016 from the 90 percent dependence in 2011. It is expected that imports of natural gas from Russia will fall by 50 percent when the new LNG terminal becomes operational in 2014.
    Lithuania's integration into the EU energy market is a priority and is a goal of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). The goal of the BEMIP is to create a single market for the Baltic Sea region and to establish inter-country connections. Currently, Lithuania remains connected to the Russian electricity grid, but the market and management of the system is not consistent with EU requirements.
    Analysis Last Updated: March 2013

    U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

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