Ukraine starts gas shipments to Europe

Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Ukraine's state-owned natural gas company secured a deal with Germany's RWE that could weaken Gazprom's grip on the regional energy sector, an executive said.

German energy company RWE is working with Ukraine to get gas through Poland in an effort to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector. Pavel Afanasiev, a gas director at Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz, told Argus Media that this is a test run that would last for about two months.

"The gas will be delivered to Ukraine through Poland, by reversing one of the few lines that connect the two countries' transmission systems," he was quoted as saying.

Both sides, Afanasiev said, would examine a more comprehensive relationship once the initial phase concludes. RWE, he said, could eventually sell Ukraine as much as 176 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Gas disputes between Russian energy company Gazprom and Ukraine, most recently in 2009, caused problems for European consumers when supplies were disrupted briefly. Most of the Russian gas headed for Europe runs through a Soviet-era gas transit system in Ukraine.

Europe is seeking to break the Russian grip on the energy sector by courting energy-rich countries in the Caspian region. Moscow, for its part, has expanded its gas export options through the Nord Stream pipeline and the planned South Stream project.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Compact cannon for British armored vehicles
Ford recalls 432,000 North American vehicles over software bug
Aetna to acquire Humana for $37 billion in cash, stocks
New Zealand military receives medium heavy military trucks
BBC to lay off 1,000 people to make up for $234M in lost revenue