Finally get rid of Russian gas to Ukraine is unlikely. Kiev stubbornly repeats the mistakes of Lithuania, which has struggled with dependence on Russian gas, and ultimately becoming the same Russian gas.
Events organized by the Polish authorities on the occasion of the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second world war, began including a platform for communication between Washington, Warsaw and Kiev.
Among others, Ukraine, Poland and the United States took the opportunity to sign the Memorandum on tripartite cooperation in energy sphere. The head of security Council of Ukraine Oleksandr danylyuk, who signed the MOU on behalf of Kiev, called this event “historic.” It is expected that Ukraine will evolve into a Polish-American gas scheme as a consumer. This idea is not new, but is gradually starting to materialize.
The problem of diversification of sources of gas put the Ukrainian government under the leadership of Nikolai Azarov (2010-2014). Most of the technical work to establish the routes of reverse gas supplies from EU countries was performed.
After the Euromaidan, when the government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the last attributed to himself the merit of “liberation from the Russian gas needle”, when the end of 2015, the official Kiev has refused to import gas and began to buy Russian gas through European intermediaries.
Moreover, even in 2014, Yatsenyuk was a supporter of the fact that half of the gas is purchased from European traders, half of them directly from Gazprom.
Taking advantage of the geopolitical situation after 2014, the United States and Poland seek to strengthen their presence in the Ukrainian energy market. Warsaw sees Ukraine as a priority market for us gas supplied to the LNG terminal in świnoujście. Its capacity is 5 billion cubic meters per year in the foreseeable future it will be expanded in the half.
Simultaneously, the Polish government extended the contract for the supply of LNG to the us local companies PGNiG until 2042, and decided to build a second LNG terminal in Gdansk; it is planned that it will be operational by the end of 2020.
In the period 2022-2024 have to earn the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, involving the supply of fuel from Norway to Poland. Thus Poland wants to avoid Russian gas in the next decade and at the same time become a regional gas hub that needs new consumers.
Yet the key problem hindering the process of expansion of cooperation of Poland and Ukraine in the gas sector is the low throughput of the pipeline system between the two countries. Technical capabilities allow to Ukraine today to import up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Poland in the year.
A feasibility study of the project of a new Interconnector “Poland-Ukraine” amount to 7 billion cubic meters per year, and in 2015-2016 the preparatory work for the implementation of this project.
However, the start of construction is hindered by the lack of available financial resources from the Ukrainian side and the absence of the Polish free volumes of gas that could be exported to Ukraine.
In General, these problems can be solved, and in a few years Poland may be the largest supplier of gas to Ukraine.
To get away from Russian gas – a mission impossible?
In Poland, signed a tripartite Memorandum of understanding makes take a broader look at the situation around the Ukrainian gas industry. The contract for the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine expires at the end of 2019. Regarding extending it is not clear to date.
The leadership of NJSC “Naftogaz of Ukraine” States that is preparing for a “zero” option, i.e. the termination of transit 2020.
If not transit, then therefore, there will be technical possibilities of reverse supplies of Russian gas from EU countries, and directly to Ukraine, “Gazprom” will not have anything to put up to 2022, the end of the proceedings with “Naftogaz” in the Stockholm arbitration, and appellate courts.
Naftogaz, meanwhile, has announced the beginning of gas supplies from Romania in 2020 in the amount of 1.5 billion cubic meters per year (total annual imports of gas by Ukraine now stands at 10-14 billion cubic meters).
There is also the theoretical possibility of gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers through the pipeline system TANAP (Azerbaijani project, which began operation last year), which will be held on the territory of Romania. However, it may happen that TANAP will be filled including the Russian gas, because the Azeri field in the Caspian sea can not cover the needs of all possible consumers.
Because finally get rid of the Russian gas in Kiev is hardly. The same argument applies to the supply of LNG, which, using the contracts of substitution can go on the territory of Poland and then Ukraine from Ust-Luga. For example, it occurs in the case of Klaipeda terminal Independence, where increasingly come party of the Russian liquefied fuel.
It turns out that Lithuania has struggled with dependence on Russian gas, to eventually purchase all the same Russian gas. This case is gaining increasing importance for Ukraine.
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