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Polish pipeline operator confirms suspension of reverse-flow gas supplies to Ukraine

September 10, 2014, 19:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The news on suspension of deliveries to Ukraine was broken earlier in the day by Igor Prokopiv, the president of the Ukrainian gas pipelines operator company Ukrtransgaz
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MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Operator of gas pipelines in Poland, Gaz-System, has confirmed the suspension of reverse-flow deliveries of natural gas from Poland to Ukraine.

“We’re compelled to suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine for the time being due to a reduction of gas deliveries from the East,” a spokesman for the company told ITAR-TASS.

The news on suspension of deliveries to Ukraine was broken earlier in the day by Igor Prokopiv, the president of the Ukrainian gas pipelines operator company, Ukrtransgaz, at a roundtable conference devoted to the prospects for development of the nation’s huge system of pipelines.

By tradition that has taken shape in Kiev’s ruling elite over the past several months, he apportioned all blame for the situation to Russia.

“Russia has begun to restrict the pumping of gas to Poland so as to frustrate the reverse-flow supplies to us,” said Ukrtransgaz President, Igor Prokopiv. “Poland stopped the reverse-flow supplies at 14:00 hours /11:00 hours GMT/ in the amount of 4 mln cubic meters.”

Reverse-flow pumping of gas to Ukraine began in April 2014. Ukraine has the technological capability for receiving up to 4 mln cubic meters of the fuel a day.

Polish oil and gas corporation PGNiG /Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo/ said earlier deliveries of gas from Russia had fallen 20% to 24% in the past two days at transfer stations. More specifically it claimed that the shrinkage totaled 20% on September 8 and 25% on September 9.

Jeremi Zarzycki, the head of PGNiG’s Moscow office said it had sent a query to Gazprom Export, the exporting arm of the Russian gas giant Gazprom but there was no answer from it by the time of reporting.

Gazprom officials familiar with the situation were not available for comment when ITAR-TASS tried to contact them.

Ukraine consumes about 50 bln cubic meters of gas annually. In 2013, a total of 26 bln cubic meters came from Russia and another 2.1 bln cubic meters was purchased in Austria, Germany, Poland, and Hungary.

Infographics Russian gas in Europe Russian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS
Own production of natural gas stands at 21 bln cubic meters.

Kiev government hopes to get about 16 bcm from European countries in 2014, with the biggest amount /8.0 to 10.0 bcm/ due to come Slovakia and another 5 bcm, from Hungary.

Along with it, Ukrainian officials and international experts point to an extremely low level of gas reserves in Ukraine’s storage facilities. Exclusive of buffer gas, the amount currently stored is equivalent of only 37% of what is needed for ensuring uninterrupted transits of Russian gas to Europe, Sergei Pravosudov, the director of the National Institute of Energy Studies.

“The Russian side has said Ukraine needs a minimum of 18.5 bln cubic meters for assuring proper transits of gas via the Ukrainian territory, given that buffer gas in the amount of 5 bln cubic meters will remain intact under all sorts of circumstances,” he said.

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