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“The new diversified gas supplies from the north give the Czech Republic strategic advantages, which makes the current situation different from that in 2009,” he said.
Zaur’s opinion that the suspension of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine will not affect gas deliveries to the Czech Republic is also shared by the top management of the German gas operator RWE.
RWE spokesperson Martin Halupski said the company’s underground gas storage facilities were 70% filled.
Another Czech gas operator, Skupina MND, said its storage facilities were 90% filled with gas and could guarantee gas supplies to all consumers without any restrictions.
Russia’s Gazprom said it was planning to increase the flow of gas by the Nord Stream pipeline to reduce the risk of undersupply to Europe due to possible restrictions against Ukraine.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the company would also pump more gas into underground gas storage facilities in Europe to avoid shortages of fuel for European consumers in the coming period.
The Nord Stream pipeline transported 23.77 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2013, Gazprom said.
In the third quarter of 2013, the pipeline carried 5 billion cubic metres of gas.
The income of the pipeline operator, Nord Stream, in the first nine months of last year dropped by 41.3% to 2.21 billion roubles versus 3.761 billion roubles in 2012.
Gazprom owns a 51% stake in Nord Stream Company.
The Nord Stream gas pipeline is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas exports to Europe. The target markets for gas supplies via Nord Stream are Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and others.
Nord Stream links Russia’s Baltic Sea coast near Vyborg with Germany’s Baltic Sea coast in the vicinity of Greifswald. The pipeline is 1,224 kilometres long.
Nord Stream receives natural gas from the Unified Gas Supply System of Russia.
The Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field will be a key resource base for gas supplies via the pipeline. The Nord Stream will also export gas from the Yamal Peninsula, Ob and Taz Bays, Shtokman field.
The Nord Stream project is implemented by Nord Stream AG, a joint venture set up for designing, constructing and further operating the offshore pipeline.
At present, the Nord Stream AG shareholding structure is as follows: Gazprom (51%), Wintershall Holding (BASF subsidiary) and E. ON Ruhrgas (15.5% each), Gasunie and GDF Suez (9% each).
The Nord Stream’s first string with the throughput of 27.5 billion cubic metres of gas a year was commissioned on November 8, 2011. Commercial supplies of Russian gas to the European Union via Nord Stream’s first string started on that very day.
The annual gas throughput of Nord Stream will be 55 billion cubic metres after its two strings reach their design capacity.