Ukraine's Naftogaz expects to be accused of gas theft by Gazprom regarding its inability to ensure transit in connection with the severe frosts in Russia.
As stated by the President of the Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI, Mykhailo Gonchar, in a Facebook post, Gazprom might not have enough gas to provide for all Russian and European consumers fully.
“Arctic cold is quickly moving to the east, and even though Europe was affected for a couple of days, the real cold is in Russia. And because of this, Gazprom might find itself in a situation of not being able to meet the needs of foreign consumers and at the same time heat Russia, as it happened 5 years ago. In such a case, priority will be given to the Russian needs and Russian consumers will be served first. Therefore, Europe could be partially cut off, if the transit through Ukraine stops, under the provocations of ‘gas theft’ because there is ‘little gas’ in the Ukrainian underground storage facilities,” Gonchar said.
Naftogaz, in turn, stressed that Russia would possibly want to place the blame on Ukraine.
“We are waiting for the favorite song: to frighten everyone by stating that Ukraine steals gas from its underground storages. This is our gas though; we pumped it into storage so that we could use it in the winter. We do not have any obligation to help Gazprom by giving them our reserves,” Naftogaz said.
Everyday, Naftogaz publishes data on the declared volumes of transit, the actual gas received, the actual transit and is now going to start disclosing information about the pressure on the Sudzha and Pisarevka entry points as well.
According to the Ukrtransgaz website, the active selection of gas from the underground storage facilities for the 2016-2017 heating season began October with 14.7 billion cubic meters of reserves and as of January 6th, there are 11.635 billion cubic meters of gas left in underground storage facilities in Ukraine.