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European Commission ready to contribute to expanding reverse-flow gas for Ukraine

July 24, 2014, 20:43 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
European Commissioner for Energy believes that diversification of supplies will help to solve Ukraine’s gas problem in part
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BRUSSELS, July 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Commission is ready to contribute to expanding reverse gas flow for Ukraine, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan said on Thursday.

“We have necessary instruments for this,” Prodan said after talks with European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger.

In addition, he said, “There are objective and subjective reasons for reducing reverse-flow supplies.”

Prodan said he was hopeful that “big reverse-flow supplies” would give Ukraine “up to 30 billion cubic metres a year”.

Oettinger’s spokesperson Sabine Berger said Ukraine could count on no more than 8 billion cubic metres of reverse-flow gas a year through Slovakia as part of the “minor reverse-flow scheme”. Gas will be supplied by the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline, not the transit pipeline.

As for the “big reverse-flow supplies” there is no concrete agreement yet as it would require Slovakia to agree to reverse the flow of gas by a trunk pipeline, which it is not prepared to do because this would run counter to its contract with Gazprom.

Oettinger said reverse-flow gas supplies from Slovakia to Ukraine by the trunk pipeline would be impossible without Gazprom’s consent as it would run counter to the Slovak company Eustream’s contractual obligations.

However he said such supplies by the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline would not require the Russian company’s agreement and would give Ukraine up to 10 billion cubic metres of a gas a year.

Oettinger believes that diversification of supplies will help to solve Ukraine’s gas problem in part. However reverse-flow supplies from Poland and Hungary by the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline will not be enough for Ukraine get through the coming winter comfortably.

Infographics Russian gas in Europe Russian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS
The European Union has promised assistance to Ukraine in diversifying natural gas supplies.

Kiev is planning to buy about 290 million cubic metres of gas in Europe in reverse mode (about 140 million cubic metres will be delivered through Poland and the rest through Hungary).

Ukraine has been receiving natural gas in reverse flow from Europe since November 1, 2012. The gas is supplied across the Ukrainian border with Poland under a contract with from German RWE.

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