Nord stream-2 will not start on time – KOBOLEV

Северный поток-2 не запустят вовремя - Коболев

Negotiations on gas contracts between Ukraine and Russia will continue in may

The head of Naftogaz, in Brussels, presented his vision for the development of different scenarios of gas transit to Europe.

The head of Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy KOBOLEV said that the Russian gas pipeline Nord stream-2 will not start until January 1, 2020, when completed the transit contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom. He said this on Friday, March 29, in Brussels, during the conference dedicated to security of gas supplies to Europe, UKRINFORM reported.

“In any case, Nord stream-2 will not be commissioned before this date. Now, after what happened in Denmark is definitely not a ban, but this is another big delay. It’s pretty obvious that the last date on which hoped the consortium would not be achieved. That means that the pipeline will not be able to transport gas to Europe from 1 January 2020. Not looking for a big term, but over the next winter, we can assume that will be the result,” – said KOBOLEV.

According to him, Gazprom will have to reduce gas supplies to Europe, or to negotiate with Ukraine on the transit conditions according to European rules.

“If there is no Nord stream-2 and will not be involved Turkish stream, Gazprom will not be able to fully meet its export obligations from the minimum volume of gas supplies. If you will be involved only the Turkish route, but still without Nord stream-2, then Gazprom can cope without Ukraine, while remaining at a minimal level,” – said KOBOLEV.

According to him, the first option that you can choose Gazprom is to supply Europe with the minimum amount of gas and try to use a complex security situation of gas supply to continue to push through the Nord stream-2 is even tougher than it is now.

The head of Naftogaz said that if the EU within the framework of the answer choose the option of replacing gas from Gazprom liquefied gas, using the existing terminals at full capacity, it may partially compensate for the tactics of Gazprom, which is trying to sell Europe less gas, but at a higher price.

“The second option, which is in Gazprom’s contract with Ukraine. I believe that this option is more likely, and it will be beneficial for all parties involved. Because the first option will undermine the reputation of Gazprom and the reputation of gas as a fuel used as a political lever,” said the head of Naftogaz.

According to him, this second option is also divided into two options. The first is to enter into a long-term contract between Gazprom and the operator of the Ukrainian GTS.

“The second option is to have a short – term reservation of capacity, which the Ukrainian operator GTS provides the other party at a fixed rate and the provision of appropriate financial guarantees. In this case, Ukraine will not be able to say “no”. Yes, the rates (for transit) in this case will be higher, but it will mean the conclusion of a contract for a year or six months, without any further obligations,” – said KOBOLEV.

He also noted that the Ukrainian side, Gazprom’s offer to continue the current contract is unacceptable, because Ukraine GTS and adapt their own legislation in the gas sector to European standards and expects the new contract with Gazprom will be signed in accordance with the so-called Third energy package of the EU.

In addition, KOBOLEV said that Naftogaz has a plan “B” in the event of a complete cessation of Russian gas transit.

“There is a proposal for creation of additional gas storage facilities in Ukraine, is the work now underway, and this should ensure our energy security. We are also working to increase opportunities for imports from the European Union, and we are convinced that liquefied natural gas terminals be fully able to replace Russian gas if Gazprom decides to choose this option. and third, if we consider the volumes of gas supplies to Ukraine in other ways. As we understand, many other countries and gas dealers also provide additional opportunities to supply gas to Europe itself, are already able to withstand a potential gas crisis. So the short answer is: more storage, and more liquefied natural gas, ” – said KOBOLEV.

As you know, the contract between Naftogaz and Russia’s Gazprom on gas transit ends at the end of 2019. Two rounds of negotiations with the participation of the European Commission to no avail. A new round is expected in may.

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