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MOSCOW, August 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Diversification of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe will cover up to 50% of Europe’s gas demand, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday.
He said that Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom was rather actively diversifying the supply risks, pumping additional gas volumes into European underground storage facilities, which will make it possible to increase gas consumption during the winter peak season.
“Moreover, it (Gazprom) increases the gas pumping capacities in accordance with the additional technical solutions on the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. We also discussed today the supply of additional gas volume through the OPAL pipeline, which will give a 40-50% compensation for the possible deficit if Ukraine consumes maximum gas volumes supplied for the EU,” Novak said.
The Yamal-Europe transnational gas pipeline runs through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany. The pipeline’s total length exceeds 2,000 kilometres, capacity - 32.9 billion cubic metres per year.
The OPAL gas pipeline with the capacity of 36 billion cubic meters runs across Germany, connecting the new trans-Baltic pipeline Nord Stream with the existing gas transportation networks. Russia and Germany seek this pipeline’s exemption from the EU Third Energy Package norms that allow Gazprom to use only half of the pipeline’s capacity.