Ukraine cites “force majeure” and cuts off one-third of Russian gas to Europe

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by Chris Black

Kiev cites “force majeure” to halt a third of Russian transited gas flow to Europe, while Gazprom says there have been no issues that would justify the move.

This is funny on so many levels…

Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom has received no confirmation of force majeure or any obstacles to continued transit of gas through a junction in Lugansk Region, the company said on Tuesday, after Ukraine’s operator OGTSU announced it would halt further deliveries starting May 11, due to the presence of “Russian occupiers.”

Gas Transit Services of Ukraine (OGTSU) declared force majeure on Tuesday, saying that it was impossible to continue the transit of gas through a connection point and compressor station located in the Lugansk area. As OGTSU personnel “cannot carry out operational and technological control” over the Sokhranovka connector point and Novopskov compressor station, the company cannot continue to fulfill its contract obligations, it said. 

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Gas from this connection will not be accepted into the transit system of Ukraine starting at 7 am on Wednesday, OGTSU said. Sokhrankovka accounts for almost a third of the Russian gas that transits through Ukraine to Europe – up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day – according to the operators.

Gazprom has received no confirmation of force majeure or disruption of operations at Sokhranovka or Novopskov, company spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said on Tuesday. He added that Ukrainian specialists have had full access to both facilities all along, and there had been no complaints about it previously.

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