Flow of Russian gas across Ukraine picks up
The flow of...
The flow of Russian gas across Ukraine, interrupted last January by a payments row that affected supplies to consumers in southern Europe, is picking up speed, according to energy ministry figures, according to Reuters.
The ministry said volumes of Russian gas exports to Europe transiting Ukraine fell to 55.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the first eight months of the year, a drop of 33.2 percent on the corresponding period in 2008.
In the January-July period, Russian gas transit through Ukraine fell 37.1 percent, by 45.5 percent in the first five months and by about 53 percent in the first two months.
Ukraine is the transit route for the bulk of Russia`s gas exports.
The flow was interrupted for two weeks in January in a row between Ukraine and its former Soviet master over pricing and payment arrears but tensions between Moscow and Kiev have since subsided.
Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev last week told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit that Gazprom (GAZP.MM) would earn $42.5 billion in export revenues in 2009, below last year`s record $66.4 billion, but said Europe had bought more gas in the last three months than it did a year ago. [ID:nLB224154]
He said Europe would depend on Russia for one-third of its gas within the next decade and the financial crisis had done nothing to erode the market share of the world`s No. 1 gas producer.
Meanwhile, Ukraine`s state-run gas and oil company Naftogaz said it planned to reduce gas imports from Russia to about 32 bcm in 2009 from about 50 bcm in 2008, but declined to comment on how the decrease in Russian transit to Europe could affect its revenue this year.
In the full year of 2008, some 120 billion cubic metres of gas transited through Ukraine. Russia sends 80 percent of its gas exports to Europe through its western neighbour.
Europe and the former Soviet region have slashed their gas consumption this year as the global economic crisis hits their industries and production slows.
Earlier this month Naftogaz said the fee that Russia pays to transit gas through Ukraine to Europe should rise to $2.67-2.72 per 1,000 cubic metres for 100 km or 57-60 percent more than this year`s fee of $1.7.
Gazprom has said it expects gas transit fees via Ukraine to rise by up to 59 percent in 2010. [ID:nL7629124]