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KIEV, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s chances to get a green light from the European Union for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline are more than 70%, Bloomberg on Tuesday quoted the CEO of Ukraine’s energy company Naftogaz as saying.
The CEO, Andrei Kobolev, also said Ukraine would have to reduce gas consumption in the country by five billion cubic meters if Russian gas deliveries, halted over debts, were not resumed.
TASS quoted Kobolev on September 16 as not ruling out that the heating season in Ukraine, that traditionally begins on October 15, would start later so that the country could accumulate additional amounts of gas in underground storage facilities.
Currently, Ukraine’s underground storage facilities have more than 16 billion cubic metres of gas, which is not enough for the autumn-winter period.
“It would be comfortable for us to have 20 /billion cubic metres of gas in underground storage facilities/ in October,” he said, adding that it was “unrealistic.”
He said that in line with the approved balance, Kiev expected six more billion cubic metres of gas to be supplied in the reverse mode from Europe “by the end of the season.”
Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom on June 16 switched Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Kiev failed to pay part of its gas debt by the deadline of 10:00 Moscow Time on June 16.
South Stream is Gazprom's global infrastructure project designed to build a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe in order to diversify natural gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.