Slovakia's Eustream preparing for potential Russian gas shortages

By bne IntelliNews November 25, 2015

Eustream is monitoring developments on the gas market and is ready to respond immediately should gas flows from the east fall or stop altogether, the Slovak gas network operator said on November 25.

The statement came in the wake of an announcement from Gazprom the same day that it is halting gas supplies to Ukraine. Slovakia is around 90% dependent on Russian gas supplies. At the same time, Eustream picks up Russian gas exports running through Ukraine's transit system at the border and carries it to Austria's Baumgarten hub.

"If Eustream's central control room records a dramatic decrease in pressure or in the volume of gas in the network or a complete shutdown of gas from the east, it will immediately facilitate the flow of gas supplies from the west," Eustream spokesperson Vahram Chuguryan told TASR news agency.

He added that the gas network operator is able to supply the whole country without restrictions. Slovakia began pumping gas from the EU to Ukraine last year.

Kyiv has taken all the gas for which it has paid, the Russian gas giant said. Moscow moved Ukraine onto a forward payment scheme earlier this year as it seeks to turn the screw on the cash-strapped country.

Gazprom has said it sees serious risks to secure gas transit to Europe via Ukraine. That is a reference to the gas wars of 2006 and 2009, when CEE states were cut off in the midst of winter as Russia and Ukraine bickered over pricing and alledged theft of flows headed westwards. However, Kyiv is reported to have built up plentiful reserves this time around.


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