Originally appeared at A-specto, transated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront
“Gazprom” is bypassing Ukraine on gas supplies to Europe by using other pipelines, the Ukrainian gas monopoly, “Naftogaz” said.
“Naftogaz” said that Russia currently delivers transit gas through “Opal” – the European gas pipeline owned by “Gazprom”, connecting “Nord Stream” with Germany and the Czech Republic. The Ukrainian company said that the change in the transport policy of “Gazprom” does not affect European customers of the Russian company, since the daily volume pumped to the EU has not changed.
“According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (EMOPSG), from 22 December onwards, Russian “Gazprom” significantly increased the volume of gas transported through the “Nord Stream” pipeline. Almost all of the gas from the additional volume is passed through the “Opal” pipeline. At the same time, the volume of Ukrainian transit gas for the same period decreased significantly. The daily volume of gas supplies to Europe through the two routes has not changed, the Ukrainian company said on Friday.
According to data, “Gazprom” has increased the transportation of gas through “Opal” by 41% and has curtailed the Ukrainian transit by 19%. At present, “Opal” operates at 80% of its capacity, compared to 50% previously, according to “Naftogaz”. The pipeline stretches 470 kilometers from the German coast of the Baltic Sea, next to Brandoff on the Czech-German border.
“Opal” receives Russian gas through the “Nord Stream” pipeline, owned by “Gazprom”, but due to limits set by European regulators, it did not use its full capacity. In late October, the European Commission adopted an increase of “Gazprom” access to “Opal”.
On Thursday, the head of “Gazprom”, Alexey Miller, told the media that “Nord Stream” is working at full capacity. Russia stresses that Ukraine has proved to be an unreliable partner in the transit of Russian gas to Europe. Moscow is concerned about the possibility of a repeat of the gas crisis of 2006, which left parts of Europe without fuel after Ukraine began to withdraw gas destined for the European market.
To solve the problem, “Gazprom” is working on the “North Stream-2” project, which will double the capacity of the “Nord Stream” and the “Turkish Stream”, which will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and Europe via the Black Sea. The contract for the transfer of gas between Moscow and Kiev expires in December 2019 and has not yet been extended.