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Ukraine can’t guarantee gas storage and transit to Europe - Russian minister

May 03, 2014, 18:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“Ukraine cannot guarantee supply of gas to European consumers, that is, its transit in the amount that is provided for in the contracts between Gazprom and European consumers,” Russian minister adds

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© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Grabar

MOSCOW, May 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia urged Europe to share responsibility for storing natural gas in Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities, as Ukraine is unable to guarantee the transit of gas to Europe in necessary amounts, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

At trilateral consultations in Warsaw on May 2, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan said his country could not guarantee the storage of necessary amounts of gas during summer for further transit to Europe.

“Therefore Ukraine cannot guarantee the supply of gas to European consumers, that is, its transit in the amount that is provided for in the contracts between Gazprom and European consumers,” the Russian minister said.

“This is very disturbing information and we think this is unacceptable. Urgent measures must be taken by both Ukraine and our European partners who are also an interested party and bear just as much responsibility for the transit of sufficient volumes of gas across Ukraine,” Novak said.

“We think the situation is becoming critical and urgent measures must be taken to resolve it,” he added.

According to Novak, at least 18.5 billion cubic meters of gas need to be held in underground gas storage facilities in wintertime. “Our estimates indicate that there are about 4-6 billion cubic metres of gas there now. This means that about 12 billion cubic meters of gas have to be pumped into the underground gas storage facilities in western Ukraine from May to September. That’s a rather large amount,” he said.

“The current volume of 4 billion cubic metres would not be sufficient to meet Ukraine’s own needs. Ukraine consumes about 50 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Of that amount about 20 billion are produced inside the country and 30 billion cubic metres or so are imported,” Novak said.

Prodan said earlier that the Ukrainian gas transit system would be incorporated into the European gas transportation system. “We can also use the possibilities of our underground gas storage facilities and hope that European gas companies will build up their reserves in our storage facilities,” he said.

The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic metres system at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic metres to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic metres to Moldova. Natural gas transit through Ukraine to Europe and CIS countries in 2011 increased by 5.7% from 2010 to cubic metres, including to Western Europe by 5.9% to cubic metres, but decreased by 2.4% to 3.099.054,000 cubic metres to CIS countries.

Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1.451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38.600 kilometres, including 22.200 kilometres of trunk pipelines and 16.400 kilometres of extensions.

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