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    Naftogaz Urges Unbundling, Prepares for January 1


CEO Andrei Kobolev also recommends minority foreign ownership of the pipelines.

by: William Powell

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Naftogaz Urges Unbundling, Prepares for January 1

Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev urged a Ukrainian parliamentary energy committee to consider keeping open the option of attracting foreign partners into the country's future transmission system operator. The state would continue to own 51% and so could block what it chose, while demonstrating to foreign investors that it was taking a constructive approach, he said October 24.

The committee of experts had met to discuss the draft law on unbundling. It was convened by the upper house’s committee for energy and housing services, Naftogaz said.

Passing the law is essential for the timely demerger of the operator of the transmission network from Naftogaz he said. In turn this is extremely important for Ukraine’s international obligations and the country’s retention of its gas transit, he said.

Ukraine has to complete the certification of the Operator of the Gas Transmission System of Ukraine (OGTSU) before January 1, 2020, when the transit contract with Gazprom expires. This means the adoption of the draft law must be as soon as possible. Kobolev also said that the the draft unbundling law guarantees that the pipelines remain 100% state-owned with no change of status and that the energy regulator’s remit extends to OGTSU’s activities. OGTSU will be owned by Gas Trunklines of Ukraine (MGU), which is owned by the finance ministry.

He said the Energy Community had approved the full compliance of the draft law with the demands of the European Commission’s third energy package.

He reminded his audience that Gazprom actively sought European partners for its two NordStream pipeline projects, and the Russian monopoly had used that as an argument for diverting gas from the transit route into its own pipelines. 

The Energy Community is an international organisation aimed at extending the internal energy market to non-EU members, who commit to developing an adequate regulatory framework and to liberalise their energy markets.