Lithuania eyes LNG imports from Norway

VILNIUS, April 13 Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:01am EDT

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VILNIUS, April 13 (Reuters) - Lithuania, which plans a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal by end-2014, is considering imports from Norway, the energy ministry said on Friday.

The Baltic state's oil terminal company Klaipedos Nafta signed in March a contract with Norway's Hoegh LNG to lease for 10 years a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Klaipeda port.

The energy ministry said the Minister Arvydas Sekmokas discussed importing LNG from Statoil's Snoehvit export terminal during his visit to Oslo this week.

"It would take just five days to for a LNG vessel to travel from Norway to Klaipeda," the ministry added in a statement.

Lithuania has been looking at other LNG import sources as well, including the United States.

Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaite plans to visit Qatar at end-April to discuss possibilities of importing LNG, the president's office said on Friday.

Klaipedos Nafta wants to sign LNG supply contracts in the second half of 2012, and the government wants at least 25 percent of total gas consumption to be bought from the terminal.

Russia's Gazprom is the only gas supplier to Lithuania, which consumed 3.4 billion cubic meters of gas in 2011. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by William Hardy)

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