Russia to continue gas supply through Ukraine after 2019

Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, Dec.24

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Russian gas supply through Ukraine will continue after 2019, Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin told Trend.

"Naturally, our [gas transport] system will be used. I have no doubts about that," said the minister.

He noted that Ukraine's gas transport system already exists and with the current prices for energy resources, it is very difficult to construct new large infrastructures.

This is while Ukraine's infrastructure can receive around 100 billion cubic meters of gas, Demchishin added.

Earlier, Russia's Gazprom company and Energy Ministry announced about the intention to absolutely suspend gas transit to Europe through Ukraine's territory after 2019 when the current contract expires.

Ukrainian minister noted that even Russian President Vladimir Putin doubts propriety of this step.

Further, Demchishin said that many do not appreciate Ukraine's possession of gas storages where gas can be pumped in summer and used in winter.

He pointed out that there are no such opportunities in the North Stream, the alternative route for supplying Russian gas to Europe and gas supply from Russia can be insufficient in winter.

Demchishin also went on to add that Ukraine now very actively looks for its gas transmission system operator.

"I'm sure that it will be Europeans, a global consortium that will be interested in this system to work," he said.

Speaking of gas supplies to Ukraine, the minister said that the main volumes for today come from Europe. For example, less than six billion cubic meters from 14 billion cubic meters of total shipments of gas was purchased in Russia in 2015, he said.

Demchishin said that Ukraine is interested in diversification of gas sources and competition in the gas market. In this sense, gas supplies from Azerbaijan in accordance with the "Southern Gas Corridor" system and further may be promising, he said.

However, it is necessary to implement large infrastructure projects for these supplies, according to Demchishin, but given today's energy prices, major gas transportation projects are not repaid.

"Therefore, we are primarily interested in resumption of the standard direction through Russia," the minister said.

In addition, he said that Ukraine quite actively develops the energy saving sphere and is focused on power generation.

"So, I think in two or three years the structure of energy consumption in Ukraine will change radically," said Demchishin. "The volumes will be different."

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