22 Nov 2022 19:10

Kiev says Gazprom's claims about transit to Moldova linked to backhauling

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - Gas Transport System Operator of Ukraine, or GTSOU says Gazprom's claims that regarding Russian gas intended for Moldova was being withheld in Ukraine are linked to the launch of gas deliveries from Moldova to Ukraine by virtual reverse or backhauling, Ukrainian media said, quoting a GTSOU statement.

GTSOU gave its position in a statement posted on its website.

Gazprom said on Tuesday that some Russian gas intended for delivery to Moldovan consumers as per a contract with Moldovagaz remained in Ukraine.

GTSOU said all gas received at the Sudzha connection point with Russia, some of it for further transit to Moldova, had been transferred at the Alexeyevka and Grebeniki exit points between Ukraine and Moldova in full. This was backed up by all the necessary paperwork signed with related operators, one of which is Gazprom itself, the Ukrainian company said.

Moldova introduced backhauling at the interconnection points with Ukraine after many years of preparation at the beginning of September 2022, and gas has been transported from Moldova to Ukraine through the Grebeniki in backhaul mode since then.

"Backhauling is one of the most advanced commercial methods of the European gas market, which also helps to mitigate the environmental impact of gas transportation. By threatening to reduce the volume of transit to Moldova, Gazprom is trying to deprive that country of the opportunity to use the Ukrainian gas transmission system with its underground storage facilities and to block virtual reverse, thereby increasing exposure to Russian gas at the beginning of the heating season," GTSOU said.

"The introduction of standard European business rules for working at interstate connection points is deliberately being interpreted by Gazprom as a violation of contractual obligations, obviously for political, and not commercial purposes," the statement quoted Olga Belkova, director for government and international relations at GTSOU, as saying.

"The volume of gas that Gazprom has supplied to the Sudzha point for transit to Moldova through Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the Ukrainian border with Moldova," Gazprom said earlier.

Moldovagaz on November 21 paid Gazprom for part of the supplies for November in accordance with the contract. The volume of Russian gas actually supplied was 24.945 million cubic meters, in respect of which payment was violated for current supplies in November. A total of 52.52 mcm of gas has accumulated in Ukraine.

"If the transit imbalance through Ukraine for Moldovan consumers persists, then, on November 28, at 10:00 a.m., Gazprom will begin cutting gas supplies to Sudzha for transit through Ukraine in the amount of the daily shortfall," Gazprom said.

Gazprom recalls that it is supplying 42.9 mcm of Russian gas for the day to the Sudzha entry point for transit through Ukraine as of November 22.