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Russian gas headed to Europe through Ukraine will stop flowing on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System Operator (GTSOU) said on Tuesday. The flows will stop at 7 a.m. local time after Russia’s occupying forces disrupted gas transit operations in the area.
According to the operator, Ukraine will no longer be able to accept gas transit from Russia via Sokhranivka. The move has the potential to disrupt supplies to Europe if an alternative path isn’t found.
Ukraine has voiced its criticism of Europe’s reliance on Russian gas since Russia invaded, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accusing Europe of paying for Russian gas with Ukrainian lives. Ukraine has also previously warned Russia that its occupation in its Luhansk region could disrupt the flow of gas to Europe due to safety concerns.
Sokhranivka is a key entry point on the border between Russia and Ukraine. Nearly one-third of the Russian gas headed through Ukraine goes through Sokhranivka, which is now under force majeure.
The GTSOU said in a statement on Tuesday that it could not operate at its Novopskov gas compressor station in Luhansk due to “the interference of the occupying forces in the technical processes.” Russian forces and separatist fighters have occupied the area since Russia invaded Ukraine.
GTSOU has stated that it could reroute the gas through the Sudzha interconnection point—controlled by Ukraine—although Gazprom has said this move was “technologically impossible”.
Gazprom has said it had seen no proof of interference with normal operations.
Roughly 33 million cubic meters of gas flow through this transit route.
European gas futures jumped by more than 8% on Ukraine’s warning that gas flows to Europe could be disrupted.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.