Ukraine Crisis to Hit Gas Supplies?

Carry on Pumping?

Carry on Pumping?

“The longest section of natural gas transmission imported from Russia runs through Ukraine. However, despite any drops in transmission or cut-offs, customers need not worry about any lack of gas in their homes and businesses,” according to Gaz-System, responsible for natural gas transmission. “We have no information suggesting that there will be any decrease in imported gas,” said Małgorzata Polkowska, spokeswoman for Gaz-SystemGazprom, which also exports natural gas to Poland, has assured companies that gas transmission to Europe that passes through Ukrainian territory has in no way changed. The Russians believe that no hold-ups should occur. Tomasz Chmal, a Sobieski Institute expert, claims that even though it is difficult to predict developments in Ukraine, nothing can be ruled out, however, the probability of any problems regarding gas transmission to Poland is currently low. “So far, there is no military action enveloping the whole country or a larger part of Ukraine,” Chmal explains. “However unlikely a critical scenario may be, the Polish government should be ready for such a situation,” he added. Poland annually imports 11 billion cubic metres of natural gas, which satisfies one third of the country’s demand for gas. According to Gaz-System data, 45% of imports pass through Drozdovychy on the Ukrainian border. The rest passes through Belarus and to a lesser extent Germany and the Czech Republic. According to the Gaz-System spokeswonan, “Taking into consideration current gas demands, supplies should proceed with no disturbances, regardless of the situation,” she says. However, Gaz-System has already prepared emergency plans to redirect the gas that usually goes through Drozdovychy to Belarus. “Gaz-System is ready and prepared to receive additional gas supplies at the Vysokoe station, on the Polish-Belarusian border,” says Polkowska. Due to the fact that demand is low, thanks to some extent to the mild winter, “reserves in our gas storage facilities are relatively high,” Tomasz Chmal adds. In recent years (including 2005, 2006 and 2009) there have been frequent problems with supply via Drozdovychy, caused by Russian-Ukrainian gas disputes. Even though delays in supply lasted little more than a week, and low temperatures generated a greater demand, individual purchasers were never deprived of gas.

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