Kyiv, March 26, 2014 – Experts called for immediate resolution of the issue of reverse flow of natural gas to replace expensive Russian gas with less expensive European gas. “By April 10–15, we will be in danger of having no imported gas or gas in storage, and our own production without Chornomornaftogaz [Naftogaz’s Black Sea production, captured by Russia during the occupation of Crimea] amounts to only 54–55 million cubic meters per day,”warned Oleksandr Narbut, president of the Kyiv Institute of Energy Research. Narbut reminded listeners that formerly Ukraine’s needs were mostly met by Russian natural gas, although there was some speculation about exploitation of unconventional gas and further offshore [Black Sea] development, now unlikely. “The problems that Naftogaz has in paying for import of natural gas may lead to a situation in which Gazprom will warn us that it will soon adjust the terms of our agreement to require payment for gas in advance,” he stressed.
Oleksandr Todyichuk, President of the International Energy Club of Kyiv, said that since the Ukrainian energy industry is currently working under wartime conditions, emergency decisions must be made. “Talks about signing a memorandum with Slovakia have already lasted two years… In 2009, the question of the reverse flow of gas from the Czech Republic to Slovakia was resolved overnight. In Ukraine the technical requirements are in place, and the reverse flow of gas can be implemented quickly. Measures should address the expansion of licensed capacity of imported gas supplies from Hungary and fundamental changes in the approach to work of “Naftogaz ” and “Ukrtransgaz” in particular, the latter should be reconstructed according to the European model, providing equal access to reverse supply.”
Oleksandr Todyiychuk called on engineering staff, technicians, and politicians to unite to urgently establish reverse flow of gas from Slovakia: “We need to build a 300m pipeline and equipment for measuring the flow of gas, worth around 20 million euros. In emergency conditions, 300 meters of pipeline can be built in one day, or, under normal circumstances, in a week.”
The experts also explained that in preparation for the next heating season [late fall and winter], Ukraine must soon buy cheap summer gas on the spot market.