CHISINAU, November 23. /TASS/. The discrepancy in the volumes of gas purchased and delivered to Moldova from Russia is due to the fact that Moldovagaz leaves its surplus in Ukraine as a reserve, Executive Board Chairman of the gas-distribution company Vadim Cheban reported via his Telegram channel on Wednesday.
"Considering the fact that Moldovagaz was not able to store the volume of gas not demanded by the country’s consumers in the first half of November, whereas rejecting it amid limited gas supplies from Gazprom in the proportion of 51% of the contracted volume would mean the creation of an unredeemable deficit for the second half of November, a portion of the gas temporarily remained in storage facilities of the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine," he wrote.
Moldova could not receive the contracted volumes of gas due to relatively warm weather in November and thus postponed the start of the heating season, Cheban explained. It is expected that the republic will still use those volumes by the end of November. Gas transport operators in Moldova and Ukraine have always ensured the supply of contracted volumes of natural gas to Moldovagaz, the official noted.
The operators of Moldova and Ukraine have signed an agreement on cooperation at the points of interstate connections Alekseyevka and Grebeniki. All cross-border transactions are registered on a special operational and balancing account. Operators apply the notion of virtual gas reverse, which is used to describe the suggested pumping of non-demanded volumes of gas from Ukraine to Moldova and its return to gas storage facilities in Ukraine, experts explained to TASS. Meanwhile, the gas physically remains in Ukraine.
Gazprom said on Tuesday that it had observed that Russian gas supplies intended for delivery to Moldovan consumers actually settled in Ukraine. If the transit imbalance via Ukraine persists, Gazprom will start reducing gas supplies for transit on November 28 in the volume of daily short supply, the gas producer added.
Gazprom has reduced the daily volume of gas supplies to Moldova by 30% since October 1 to 5.7 mln cubic meters, with the republic’s demand equaling 8.06 mln cubic meters. The Russian company said this was due to technical problems related to limited transit via Ukraine. In November the deficit of gas supplies to Moldova rose to 51%. Amid this situation the republic cut its consumption of gas, as well as reduced its supplies to the Transnistrian territory, where most industrial enterprises were forcibly put on hold.