10:22 Sep. 14, 2016
Around 40 percent of Russia's gas exports to Europe currently pass through Ukraine
Ukraine may decommission part of its gas transit system due to a sharp fall in the amount of Russian gas being pumped to Europe via Ukraine, the head of Ukraine's gas transport monopoly Ihor Prokopiv was quoted on Tuesday as saying.
Around 40 percent of Russia's gas exports to Europe currently pass through Ukraine but several new gas pipelines elsewhere and an uncertain future for Ukrainian gas deals with Russia could leave Ukrainian transit pipelines redundant within a few years.
"Taking into account the considerable surplus capacity of Ukraine's gas transportation system, with 30 percent of its gas compressor stations in standby mode, it is obvious that the unused assets must be decommissioned," Prokopiv told NV Business magazine.
He said the government was preparing for different supply scenarios.
"We have a clear strategy for the next 10 years, according to which we will soon begin to optimize the gas transport system to make it ready for... zero, 30 and 70 billion cubic meters (bcm) of transit through the territory of Ukraine," he said.
According to Prokopiv, Ukraine, which used to transport 110 bcm of Russian gas to Europe, had already lost around 40 bcm of transit after Russia's Gazprom launched the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany and boosted the transit capacity of the Belarusian gas system.
"The Russians would like to completely discredit Ukraine. They wanted to launch another flow - the Nord Stream 2 and also bypass Ukraine in the southern direction, building a so-called South Stream. This being a threat to Ukraine," Prokopiv said.