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Ukraine Won't Restart Gas Flows To Europe Until It Has Control Of Pipelines

Ukraine will only restart gas flows from Russia to Europe via the Sokhranivka point—which were stopped earlier this week—only when Kyiv regains full control over its gas pipelines, the head of the Ukrainian gas system operator told Reuters on Thursday.

"We won't open. Until full control over the asset," Sergiy Makogon, head of the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System Operator (GTSOU), wrote to Reuters.

On Tuesday, GTSOU said it would no longer be able to accept gas transit from Russia via the Sokhranivka entry point, through which nearly one-third of the Russian gas headed through Ukraine goes. The GTSOU said in a statement  that it could not operate at its Novopskov gas compressor station in the Russia-controlled Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine due to "the interference of the occupying forces in the technical processes." 

The Ukrainian operator also said there were "unauthorized gas offtakes from the gas transit flows," which endangered the stability and safety of the entire Ukrainian gas transportation system.

Makogon told Reuters, "I don't think that Gazprom was aware that the (separatists) had started stealing transit gas from us."

GTSOU has stated that the gas flows could be rerouted through the Sudzha interconnection point—controlled by Ukraine.

But Gazprom has said that rerouting of gas to the Sudzha entry point was "technically impossible under the Russian flow scheme."  

In response to Gazprom's claim, Ukraine's GTSOU said on Wednesday that it is actually possible to transfer gas flows to the Sudzha entry point, which has more than enough capacity to accommodate gas flows.

"A similar transfer of capacity from Sokhranivka to Sudzha took place from October 12 to 25, 2020, due to scheduled repairs. At that time, gas transit through the Sudzha entry point was 165.1 million cubic meters per day. Therefore, the allegations about the impossibility of transferring flows from Sokhranivka to Sudzha point do not correspond to reality," the Ukrainian operator said. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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