Hungary signs gas deal with Shell, its first in the West

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary will buy 250 million cubic metres of liquefied natural gas per year for six years from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. via Croatia’s LNG port in Krk, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook post on Friday.

“Hungary signed a long-term gas supply agreement for the first time with a Western company,” Szijjarto wrote.

“Hungary will secure 10% of its gas supply from the West, which is a huge step in Hungary’s energy diversification.”

Hungary has relied mostly on Russian gas and has never had a long-term supply agreement with any supplier other than Russia’s Gazprom, which has worked to expand its footprint in Europe with several new pipelines.

Hungary has for years said it was open to procure gas from any source, including Western ones, once a route opens up, and it has complained that neighbouring countries were not up to speed in securing the necessary infrastructure.

With the Krk terminal scheduled to begin operations in the next few months, Hungary has secured a lot of its capacity.

In the meantime, it has also agreed on a 6.2 billion cubic metre deal with Gazprom and said it wanted a flexible long-term agreement with the company.

Reporting by Marton Dunai; editing by Jason Neely