Ukrainian Gas Transporting System is Europe's Most Important - Günther Oettinger

Mar 06, 2013, 13:26 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

"Your [Ukrainian] Gas Transporting System (GTS) is the most important in Europe, however, its maintenance and renovation requires considerable investments," stated European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger in his interview with Ukraine has to find the necessary funds taking into consideration its commitments to the European Energy Community (EEC), such as providing the third parties with an access to the GTS, added Oettinger. The commitment becomes especially important given the prospects of commercial shale gas production and reverse-flow technologies in Ukraine.

Ukrainian GTS, which mainly served as a transit system for pumping Russian gas to the West, is now becoming a flexible infrastructure, highlighted the European Commissioner. There is an opportunity to operate reverse-flow gas transmissions through Poland and Hungary. Currently EU is working on increasing the number of paths that would enable Ukraine to receive gas from the LNG-terminal in the Mediterranean Sea and the Netherlands. The Commissioner also negotiated the opening of the reverse gas transit corridor with the Government of Slovakia.

He reminded that the EU offered Ukraine a tripartite consortium to manage its GTS (Russian party, Ukraine's Naftogaz, and European businesses).  EU considers such consortium favorable for it would include producer, transporter, and consumer of gas. European side is currently expecting Ukrainian energy minister's official invitation to discuss the consortium at the round table.

Along with the GTS, the 27-nation bloc highly appreciates Ukrainian gas storage facilities. EU's demand for the country's facilities continues to increase, pointed out the Commissioner. Such demand largely depends on the amount of gas pumped by the South Stream, he stated, adding that "Gazprom is the investor of the South Stream, there is no EU money". There are EU member states or candidates, who express a desire to participate in the construction of the South Stream pipeline, however, the EU does not support it financially or otherwise.

Commenting on Ukraine fulfilling its commitments to the EEC, the European Commissioner stated that the country has already took a number of necessary steps, including the introduction of European standards into its legislation.  "…I would say that most of the steps have already been done, but more needs to be done," summed up the Commissioner.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine