Due to the war, Ukraine has stopped the transit of Russian gas in the Luhansk region in the east of the country since Wednesday morning. As a result, up to 32.6 million cubic meters of gas per day were lost – that is almost a third of the maximum amount that can be transported via Ukraine to Europe every day, the Ukrainian gas network operator GTSOU announced on Tuesday.
Due to the Russian occupation, it had become impossible to control the Sochranivka point and the Novopskov compressor station, it said. The operator referred to a case of “force majeure”. Sokhranivka is part of the Soyuz pipeline, which runs from the Russian region of Orenburg to Uzhhorod in Ukraine.
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Only orders from Russian energy giant Gazprom were accepted for the westbound transit through the Soyuz pipeline that day, pumping gas to a station on Russian territory, GTSOU data showed Wednesday morning.
News agencies in Moscow also referred to this information. Initially, there was no official notification from the Ukrainian side confirming that the partial transit stop had actually taken place.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Economics emphasized that Germany is currently not threatened by bottlenecks even if the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is restricted. “The security of supply in Germany is currently still guaranteed,” said a spokeswoman for the German Press Agency.
“We are monitoring the situation closely,” said the spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics. The Federal Network Agency should make an assessment in its daily situation report, which is usually published around noon.
Bookings for Russian gas transit via the key Sokhranivka route to Europe fell to zero on Wednesday morning. This emerges from data from the GTSOU.
On the other hand, the Russian natural gas company Gazprom states that such a conversion is technically impossible. According to GTSOU, almost a third of the natural gas routed from Russia to Europe via Ukraine passes through Sokhranivka.
The Ukrainians indicated that the Russians recently disrupted the operation of the plants. Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, which recently pumped almost 100 million cubic meters of gas through Ukraine to Europe every day, said it had received “no confirmation of force majeure”. The Ukrainians have been working “undisturbed” in Sochranivka in recent weeks.
It is technically not possible to route the deliveries that are no longer available directly to the Sudscha point, which is on Russian territory near the border with Ukraine, said spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov, according to the Interfax agency. According to GTSOU data, bookings at the Sudscha node on Wednesday were almost 72 million cubic meters.
He initially left it open whether compensation would be possible via completely different routes. The Russian energy company Gazprom once again emphasized that it will fulfill all its obligations to European customers.
The contractual maximum capacity for Ukrainian gas transit to Europe is 109 million cubic meters per day. The main route for Russian gas to Europe, however, is the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. According to Russian information, 60 billion cubic meters of gas per year ran through Nord Stream 1 to Europe.
Two and a half months after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Moscow announced on Tuesday morning that it had penetrated to the administrative borders of Luhansk together with pro-Russian separatists.
The head of the Ukrainian energy supplier Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, recently warned the editorial network Germany (RND) that the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Western Europe could be endangered if Russia were to continue its attacks on the Ukrainian infrastructure.
Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Demands for a gas embargo, for example, are therefore very controversial.
According to the latest information from the Economics Ministry, Germany’s dependence on Russian gas has fallen from 55 percent to around 35 percent since the beginning of the war. According to this, a gradual reduction to ten percent of gas consumption is possible by summer 2024.