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    Ukraine Eyes Romanian Gas


Ukraine wants to reverse-flow gas from Romania using the Trans-Balkan pipeline.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Ukraine Eyes Romanian Gas

Ukraine is working with Moldova to establish a means of importing Romanian gas, its transmission system operator Ukrtransgaz said on August 19, ahead of the expiry of its gas transit contract with Russia.

Ukrtransgaz and its Moldovan counterpart Moldovagaz have agreed to modernise the Grebeniki and Kaushany gas metering stations at their shared border, the Ukrainian firm said. This will pave the way for Ukraine to virtually reverse-flow up to 1.5bn m3 of gas/yr using the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, by  under-delivering gas to Romania, by agreement with Romania. 

Trans-Balkan is used to transit Gazprom's gas in the other direction to Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

“The main purpose of the co-operation is to diversify gas supply routes to Ukraine in preparation for the autumn-winter period 2019/2020,” Ukrtransgaz explained. 

The company said it intended to construct additional pipeline bypasses, and overhaul its station at Grebeniki by the end of 2019, coinciding with the end of Ukraine’s long-term gas transit agreement with Russia. Although it transits a third of Russia's Europe-bound gas supplies, Ukraine does not buy any gas directly from Russia, instead importing it from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

Moldova, which is wholly dependent on Russian gas, is looking to tap Romanian supplies as well, but through a new pipeline up to its capital Chisinau, due online in 2020.