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    Ukraine Starts Virtual Reverse Flows from Slovakia


Ukraine and Slovakia were scheduled to begin offering virtual reverse-flow capacity on March 1.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Ukraine Starts Virtual Reverse Flows from Slovakia

Ukraine's newly formed independent transmission system operator GTSOU was scheduled to launch virtual reverse flows of gas with Slovakian counterpart Eustream on March 1, according to a statement the pair published on February 28.

Ukraine transits Russian gas to Slovakia and its other EU neighbours but has traditionally received some volumes back which it has purchased from European suppliers. Virtual reverse, or backhauling, allows the country to simply subtract its purchases from the transited volumes before they leave the country, cutting transport costs and allowing it to access greater volumes.

Russia's Gazprom for years opposed virtual reverse but agreed to let Ukraine undertake the practice in December, ahead of signing a new five-year gas transit contract with the country. GTSOU and Eustream then signed an interconnection agreement making virtual reverse possible.

The pair were set to begin offering 10mn m3/day of virtual reverse flow at the Velke Kapusany-Uzhgorod interconnection point at the start of this month, according to the GTSOU statement. 

"The backhaul capacity depends on the availability of forward flow and therefore it is interruptible and may be interrupted in the event that no flow in the direction from Ukraine to Slovakia is available," the operator said.

They may decide to increase the level of flow if there is sufficient market interest, it added.