After Kyiv closes major transit route, Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine drops by 25%

The Russian gas flow to Europe via Ukraine dropped by 25% on Wednesday, after Kyiv stopped using a major transit route. This was the first time that exports via Ukraine were disrupted since the conflict started.

Even after Moscow launched “special military operations”, Ukraine has been a significant route for Russian gas to Europe. The transit point that was shut down usually handles around 8% of Russian gas flow to Europe.

Gazprom, a Kremlin-controlled company, has a monopoly over Russian gas exports via pipeline. However, volumes were still seen at 72 million cubic meters (mcm), down from 95.8 Mcm Tuesday.

GTSOU, the operator of Ukraine’s gas system said Tuesday that it would stop gas flow through the Sokhranivka transit station. It said it received almost a third from Russia via Ukraine.

It stated that it was declaring force majeure, a clause used when a company is struck by an outside event. This would cause deliveries to Europe to be diverted to the Sudzha entry point. The largest of Ukraine’s two crossing points.

The pipeline that runs via the Sokhranivka points traverses Ukraine’s Luhansk area, which is currently under control by pro-Russian separatists. Sudzha is further north-west.

Gazprom stated Tuesday that it was technically impossible to transfer all volumes to Sudzha, as GTSOU suggested.

Gazprom provided data that suggested that only Sudzha was being used on Wednesday. GTSOU data indicated that gas transit volumes declined following the denial of Russian gas nominations via Sokhranivka’s entry point on May 11.

TSO Eustream, a Slovakian operator, showed that daily nominations for Russian gas delivery to Slovakia via Ukraine dropped on Wednesday. The data showed that nominations through the Velke Kapusany border point were approximately 717,923 megawatt-hours (MWh) per day on Wednesday, as opposed to 883,844MWh per day on Tuesday.

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