THOUGH Ukraine signed a draft agreement over receiving transports of gas via Slovakia, it is not sure whether the country will really transport the gas from the west. The final agreement will also depend on the prices of gas it gets from Russia, the Sme daily wrote in its January 17 issue.

Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Eduard Stavitsky confirmed signing the documents concerning reverse flow and sending it to Slovakia on January 15, without revealing any further details, the SITA newswire reported.

Slovakia and Ukraine have been discussing the possibility of establishing a reverse flow of gas for about one year. Slovak gas carrier Eustream has invited representatives of Ukrainian gas carrier to Bratislava to finalise the memorandum of understanding, which might change “in the context of recent situation on Ukrainian gas market”, said Eustream spokesman Vahram Chuguryan, as quoted by SITA.

Even signing the memorandum does not automatically mean that the project of reverse flow of gas from Slovakia to Ukraine will be implemented. The aim of the document is the declaration of the intention and surveying the possibility to set up the reverse flow. This means that Eustream will launch an open season during which it will call on gas carriers to promise to transit gas to Ukraine. Only if Eustream will be sure that it is worth transporting the gas it will invest into the jumper which would allow the reverse flow, Sme wrote.

The final decision of Ukraine might be impacted by the fact that Russia reduced the prices of gas for Ukraine by one third to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic metres, as reported by SITA.

The technical capacity of Eustream for reverse flow of gas to Ukraine currently stands at more than 80 million cubic metres a day. Ukraine and Slovakia are connected through four pipelines. If Ukraine signed the agreement, it might get up to 15 billion cubic metres a year from Western Europe, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA, Sme

For more information about this story please see: Ukraine to get gas through Slovakia

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.