Gas supplies to certain consumers will be interrupted! Complicity or incompetence?

An unbelievable threat came several days ago from the committee of investigation into the gas market, in which the representative of the largest gas supplier in Romania showed that the only solution next winter was to stop gas supplies to certain consumers. Surprisingly, there was no reaction to this statement. Nobody showed that such a practice would be illegal. Why? Maybe because the truth is always in the middle: 50% complicity / 50% incompetence.

“In the event of a heavy winter, will there be sufficient gas for winter? We are not sure. We hope so, but we have guarantee. The only solution, if we don’t have enough gas, is to interrupt supply to certain consumers, which must be defined in an emergency plan prepared by the Government. This plan existed in the past, but it should be immediately updated. The most important thing is to clearly define which consumers should be interrupted and in what order, if there is a lack of resources” – this was the statement made by the representative of the largest gas supplier in Romania.

I will start with the end of this statement, which proves the practice used in Romania for over 10 years by companies with “performing management” imposed on the Romanian market: ensuring gas supply during winter to all Romanian consumers is not the suppliers’ concern, but it is a concern of the Government of Romania.

These companies are used to solve their problems, profitability and oligopoly on the market, with help from the laws and not by applying know-how for which they were brought in Romania. The gas law unequivocally establishes in art. 173 paragraph (1) that suppliers (title holders of gas supply licenses) are required to carry out their activities in compliance with the obligations stipulated in the license, i.e. continuity of gas supply to all customers in the portfolio. In other words, if a supplier concluded a contract with a customer, which pays the price set in the gas contract, the supplier has the obligation to ensure gas during both summer and winter.

This is established by the law voted by the Parliament of Romania. Also, the gas law provides for sanctions and the possibility to suspend the license in the event of stopping gas supplies to customers in the portfolio for reasons not attributable to the consumer.

Indeed, the gas law provides in art. 176 paragraph 1 that in the event of unexpected crisis situations on the gas market the transmission operator proposes the adoption of safety measures whose application is made by decision of the Government of Romania. Thus, if in November we are talking about crisis situations it means they are expected, and if they are expected they should be solved by the gas suppliers according to art. 173, not being subject to art. 176, which refers exclusively to unexpected crisis situations.

The questions that come to mind: How is it possible to discuss in the Parliament of Romania with such nonchalance about cutting gas supplies to consumers and no one react? How is such an offending threat against consumers accepted? Too many of those who have a coordinating role don’t know the provisions of the gas law, the rights of consumers and the obligations of suppliers. They are as many as those who are complicit in supporting foreign interests to the detriment of the people, and they strive to launch and sustain on the market elements that will convince the population on the normality of the increase in gas prices!

Translated by Romaniscount.