Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev says transit shipments of Russian natural gas via the Ukrainian gas transport system (GTS) is one of the factors holding back Russian aggression against Ukraine.
"We are convincing our partners that, among other risks, there are two big ones that cannot be ignored. First, the division of Europe, because many Eastern European countries will consider it unfair that this project [Nord Stream-2] has been implemented. There is also a huge risk to Ukraine's military security. In our view, the fact that Russian gas is now being delivered via Ukrainian territory is one of the 'fuses' deterring Russia's aggression," Kobolev said at a roundtable titled "Ukraine’s key role in European energy security."
EU Commission seeks mandate to negotiate Nord Stream-2 deal with RussiaAt the same time, he has noted that Ukraine needs to ensure high quality and efficiency of the national GTS to win in a competition with Nord Stream-2.
"It's now obvious that [Russia's] Gazprom is making a very interesting offer to Europe, in commercial terms, because private companies participating in this project will get a very significant profit. It is very interesting for German companies as they will get very cheap gas. Therefore, in order to compete with this offer - and now there is competition between the two routes - it is vitally important to ensure the high quality and efficiency of our route," Kobolev said, adding that an extremely important task now is to provide the timely implementation of the Naftogaz reform plan.
As UNIAN reported earlier, transit shipments of natural gas via the Ukrainian GTS in 2016 grew by 23% against 2015, to 82.2 billion cubic meters. Transit shipments of gas in the first half of 2017 increased by 21% y-o-y, to 45.7 bcm.
Ukrainian gas reserves grow to almost 12 bcm within weekAccording to Ukrtransgaz, the Ukrainian GTS can ensure the transit of natural gas from Russia to the EU and Moldova in conditions of a significant fluctuation in the daily demand on the western border of Ukraine, namely, in the range of 250 million cubic meters per day. In addition, its operation is more reliable and transparent compared to the Turkish Stream, Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines that are being built (or have already been built) by Russia, bypassing Ukraine.
UNIAN memo. Ukrtransgaz operates 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total operating capacity of about 31 bcm. The USFs are an integral part of Ukraine's system of gas supply and transit. The company is also the operator of trunk gas pipelines, through which natural gas is exported from the Russian Federation to the EU, as well as imported by Ukraine from both Russia and the EU countries. Naftogaz of Ukraine is an owner of 100% of Ukrtransgaz shares.