Ukraine Helps Russia Fulfill its Gas Supply Obligations to the EU
KYIV, Ukraine, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Upon Gazprom’s request Ukraine increased its daily transit capacity of Russian gas to
the EU by 17.3 million cubic meters or about 7 percent, reported the Ukrainian state gas
pipelines and gas depots operator – Ukrtransgas. The request is associated with temporary
repairs at the Russian North Stream gas pipeline. Experts suggest that this is to confirm
the importance of Ukrainian gas transport system (GTS) for Russia.
The capacity of Ukrainian gas transporting system amounts to 110 billion cubic meters
per annum. Comparatively, the planned capacity of the Russian alternative to Ukrainian GTS
- North Stream (NS) pipeline is up to 30 billion cubic meters per year. Up until now,
though, NS has been operating at 30 percent capacity being able to transfer 27 million
cubic meters per day which amounts to less than 10 billion annually.
Russia launched the North Stream gas pipeline on November 8, 2011 and managed to pump
through mere 3 billion cubic meters of gas up in about five months when it closed down the
pipeline for the planned two-week repairs and maintenance. Gazprom informed its European
partners that the closedown was necessary to tune up the control system, which will unite
both branches of the gas pipeline in the future.
Ukrainian GTS remains an important part of the European energy supply system, said
Serhiy Diachenko, leading energy expert of the Ukrainian think-tank Razumkov Centre.
Earlier, Gazprom together with the Russian government officials repeatedly claimed
that launching alternative gas pipelines to the Ukrainian ones, particularly the North
Stream and South Stream, will decrease Russia’s dependence on Ukrainian GTS to almost
Until recently, Russia has been transferring up to 80 percent of its gas to the
European consumers through Ukraine. In 2011 Ukraine declared its intention to import less
Russian gas because of the steep price, which resulted in Russia exploring alternative gas
transit opportunities and reducing gas transfer through Ukraine.
As of the end of March 2012, Russia decreased the volume of gas transiting Ukraine by
50 percent, reported Ukrainian national oil and gas giant Naftogaz. This could be the
consequence of the subsiding interest of European consumers in the Russian gas, whose
demand just in March fell 23 percent, reported Ukrainian officials.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine