Greece Will Review Plans on Additional LNG Cargoes If Russian Gas Flows Stop

ATHENS (Reuters) — The Greek gas grid operator will review its plans on additional cargoes of LNG that Greece might need if Russia halts gas supplies to the country, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.

The demand by Russia over payments in roubles for its gas, which meets a third of Europe's annual energy needs, has raised fears that it could turn off gas supplies.

Moscow is expected to make public its plans for rouble payments on Thursday, although it said it would not immediately demand that buyers pay for gas exports in the currency.

Greece, which covers about 40% of its annual needs with Russian gas, on Wednesday held an emergency meeting of its energy regulator, gas and power transmission operators and its biggest gas and power suppliers to assess all available scenarios about gas supply security.

Along with additional LNG supplies, the government has asked grid operator DESFA to examine the cost for adding a floating tank at the country's sole LNG terminal off Athens, the ministry said in a statement after the meeting.

By April 5, DESFA will also need to notify the energy ministry on the progress made in talks with Italy's Snam SRG.MI about whether Greece can have strategic gas quantities stored underground in neighboring Italy.

Russian gas is delivered to Greece via a pipeline which bypasses Ukraine. Athens also buys gas from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Turkey, and the United States.

Gas flows to Greece are normal and there is no immediate need for the country to declare an alert, said an official at Greece's gas network operator who declined to be named.

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