Ukrainian Pipeline Explodes
Part of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline in central Ukraine exploded on January 9, the country's transmission system operator GTSOU reported, but there were no casualties and Russian gas transit was unaffected.
The blast occurred at 15:50 near the Lubny town in the Poltava region, GTSOU said in a statement on the day of the incident, noting that repair teams were at the scene. Gas supply was restored to the nearly 3,000 affected consumers in the Lubny area at 10:40 on January 10 using alternative routes, GTSOU later said.
The causes of the accident are being investigated.
The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline, built in the 1980s, carries gas from Russia's giant Urengoy gas field in Western Siberia to European markets. Russia's Gazprom is less reliant on Ukraine as a transit route since agreeing a new transit contract with Kyiv at the end of 2019 and subsequently launching the TurkStream pipeline to Turkey.
Under the contract, Gazprom paid to ship at least 65bn m3 of gas through Ukraine last year. But it actually sent only 55.8bn 3, marking a 45% decline year on year and the lowest level in nearly three decades. Besides TurkStream's launch, the decline was the result of weaker European gas demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, high levels of gas in storage and various other factors.
A section of the Kyiv-Western Ukraine-1 pipeline exploded in the Kyiv region in September last year. The pipeline carries gas from fields in eastern Ukraine to underground storage sites near its border with the EU, but supplies were rerouted after the incident.