Gazprom continues lobbying across Europe for gas transit lines bypassing Ukraine - Naftogaz

UNIAN 2

The Russian gas monopoly Gazprom continues to pursue the goal of maximizing the sales of natural gas to Europe, convincing European partners of the need to develop a gas infrastructure that transmits gas bypassing the territory of Ukraine, Chief Commercial Director of Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, said at a conference on the development of commodity exchange market Thursday.

REUTERS

"Instead of maximizing the price, they try to maximize the total profit, which is achieved by increasing the volumes... Plus, the demand for hydrocarbons (oil and gas) is expected to increase soon, so companies are trying to extract and sell as soon as possible," he said, explaining that Gazprom's objective for today is to sell to the EU as much of the gas as possible, even though the price could fall.

According to Vitrenko, the Russian monopoly continues lobbying across Europe for gas pipeline projects set to transport gas bypassing the Ukrainian territory.

"They go around telling everyone not to worry, and that they will deliver gas [bypassing Ukraine] to the Czech Republic, and thence from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, from Slovakia to Austria, and further to Hungary and Italy. They position it [the EUGAL pipeline, which is planned to be built as a continuation of the "Nord Stream-2" into the territory of Germany] as a necessary element of infrastructure for the Eastern Europeans," he said.

Read alsoU.S. concerned of Nord Stream 2, Turkish Stream construction bypassing UkraineVitrenko added that Naftogaz should be very cautious about the possible influence of the Ukrainian side on the process of negotiations on EUGAL construction.

As UNIAN reported earlier, as of today, Russia is actively seeking to reduce gas transit volumes via the territory of Ukraine. To this end, the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and its partners are building the Turkish Stream pipeline, which runs along the bottom of the Black Sea, and they intend to build the Nord Stream-2.

One of the threads of the Turkish Stream, which will transport gas to the EU,will have a capacity of 15.7 billion cubic meters per year. The Nord Stream-2 project involves the construction and operation of two gas pipeline threads with a total capacity of 55 bcm per year, stretching from the Russian coast via the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Read alsoNaftogaz makes first move to unbundle gas shipmentsThe new pipeline is planned to be built next to the already existing "Nord Stream-1". According to Naftogaz of Ukraine, the construction of bypass routes could deprive Ukraine of gas transit revenues, which in 2017 will amount to $3 billion, and also reduce the investment attractiveness of Ukraine’s GTS.

To prevent this, Naftogaz offered to create a consortium (with the participation of European partners) to manage the Ukrainian GTS, and also proposed to reduce the rate for the transit of Russian gas after 2019 (the end of the current contract with Gazprom). Also Naftogaz has repeatedly stressed that Gazprom does not fulfill contractual obligations, according to which it is obliged to transport through the territory of Ukraine 110 bcm of gas annually.