Ukraine has found another reason to complain about Gazprom to the European Commission regarding the transit of gas to Europe. Now, according to Kyiv, the Russian monopoly allegedly does not provide the required pressure in the gas pipe. Judging by the fact that all the previous similar complaints, the Commission ignored the real causes of the statements of Naftogaz quite different.
Ukraine has complained about Gazprom to the European Commission. “As of 08.00 on Tuesday the pressure level of the gas metering station (GMS) Sudzha fell to a record low in recent years 49.7 ATM is specified by the contract 60,0 ATM”, – said the press service of Naftogaz. GIS Sudzha is the main entry point to the Ukrainian gas transport system with Russia.
“Naftogaz of habit with shifts blame on others to divert attention from the real issues and distorting the facts”
“Naftogaz of Ukraine” and the European Commission concerned about the situation because of the failure of the Russian party of its contractual obligations, and expect Gazprom appropriate explanation and remedy the situation for stable gas supply to European consumers”, – says Naftogaz.
At the same time, Naftogaz has complained that the quality of gas supplied by Gazprom allegedly did not always match the physico-chemical parameters.
You can tell immediately that Naftogaz, in a statement, to put it mildly, disingenuous. In published several years ago in the media transit contract from 2009, the level of pressure 60 ATM, which says Naftogaz is not written, in what can be easily seen. The only thing that in addition to the main contract, the parties had to sign (and re-sign every year) a technical agreement in which he promised to outline the technical details of acceptance of gas. Technical contract in the public domain, but some indirect signs show that the statements of the Ukrainian side in this matter should not be trusted.
First of all, Kiev has repeatedly accused Gazprom of violating contractual pressure at GIS Sudzha or Pisarevka – and complained to the European Commission. However, the European Commission, these complaints all the time left without attention. Neither Gazprom nor the European consumer does not confirm the existence of any problems or threats relating to the delivery of gas to Europe.
And it is clear. The maintenance of pressure in the Ukrainian GTS – is the problem of Ukraine itself. It needs to maintain the tube and be responsible for the transit of gas, for which he receives a fee from Gazprom. How much gas Russia applied to log (on the border with Ukraine), as many consumers in Europe have to get. In the winter months, problems with the pressure in the pipe was not because the Europeans bought a lot of gas.
“Low pressure in the pipe can be connected with a minimum share of intake gas receiving party. With increasing climatic temperatures the demand for gas from European consumers ‘ declining. This year’s early spring, and this moment can also be a cause of lowering of the pressure in the pipe. Less demand is less than pumping – lower pressure. In this case, it is not a problem of Gazprom”, – says Anna Bodrova of Alpari.
In this situation the complaint to the EC on the actions of the Russian gas provider look unreasonable. “The volume of deliveries to Europe in no way related to Naftogaz. Most likely, Naftogaz of habit with shifts blame on others to divert attention from the real issues and distorting the facts,” – I agree Georgy Vashchenko of IR “freedom Finance”.
And the facts are that due to the reduction of Russian gas supplies and the pressure drop in the system, Naftogaz will likely have to raise the gas from its underground storages, as it was in the summer. Only in this case, Naftogaz will be able to ensure the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
However, by the end of the heating season, the situation on the Ukrainian underground gas storage is critical. This season before winter gas was pumped a record low. Stocks in Ukrainian underground gas storage has declined, perhaps to less than 8 billion cubic meters, which is close to the minimum required level to ensure uninterrupted transit, says Vashchenko. “To raise their own pressure Naftogaz problematic because UGS is nearly empty. To make a fuss in this case is much easier”, – said Bodrov. In Ukrainian underground storage facilities should remain a buffer gas (minimum balance to ensure the lift gas in the required volumes) in the amount of 6–7 billion cubic meters.
Thus, Naftogaz their statements trying to hedge in case, if Kiev will not be able to fulfil its transit obligations. Although really to find the culprit in case of failure is not difficult – on the edge compressor stations volume flow is recorded in real time, says Vashchenko.
Naftogaz complaints about the low quality of Russian gas, most likely from the same series. Such complaints generally must come from the consumer, not from the level of delivery, perplexed Bodrov.
“It’s all in the most part white noise. Most likely, later the Ukrainian company will start to pump the desired conditions for gas supplies for the new season, including flexible volume and low price. For the whole story with the big share of probability it is this interest”, – says Bodrov.
In other words, Kiev, among other things, is already preparing the ground in order to once again try to knock a discount on gas and the change in the contract that Gazprom will not go. Russia is ready to sell gas to Ukraine under the contract, but that Naftogaz must submit an application and pay the Deposit.