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No gas price growth if Ukraine bans Gazprom gas transit — Naftogaz CEO

August 12, 2014, 12:36 UTC+3 LONDON
“Any European company” could sign transit contract with Ukraine’s Ukrtransgaz, and Russian gas would be supplied to EU in full volume if Nazftogaz and Gazprom reached agreement, Nazftogaz chief says
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Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolev

Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolev

© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

LONDON, August 12. /ITAR-TASS/. A ban on gas transit through Ukraine for Russian monopoly exporter Gazprom will not “drive gas price higher”, Chief Executive of the state company Nazftogaz of Ukraine Andrey Kobolev told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.

Besides, “the ban could be imposed only on certain companies which the Ukraine government believes are dealing with terrorism. That is why ... European companies will be able to transit gas through Ukraine”, he said.

“The transit is already threatened by Gazprom. And if we look back at 2009, then the transit will stop for no reason. We believe that this situation might be repeated this winter,” said the CEO.

Infographics Russian gas in Europe Russian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS
Ukraine did not see “it getting any better” but was “open to discussion” and ready to sign a commercial deal, he added.

“Any European company” could sign transit contract with Ukraine’s Ukrtransgaz, and Russian gas would be supplied to the EU in full volume if Nazftogaz and Gazprom reached an agreement, Kobolev said.

“If the gas is not cut off, and if there is a viable legal solution to transit contracts, then we can give 100%,” he said.

Ukraine, he believes, will survive the winter without Russian gas.

Naftogaz earlier said gas transit to Europe could be carried out by companies that were not sanctioned and would sign direct agreements with Nazftogaz.

According to experts polled by ITAR-TASS, Nazftogaz plans to find a European company but this is impossible without Gazprom consent. Revision of transit scheme will require revision of all agreements with European customers.

The Russian monopoly can agree to use the new scheme for some time for the sake of saving the European consumers but only if the European Commission guarantees support for Gazprom’s project of South Stream pipeline to supply gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

Kiev was earlier reported to plan sanctions on certain economic activities, including transportation of resources.

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