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Transit of Russian gas through Ukraine falls to its minimum

05 January 2023

During 2022, the transit of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian gas transmission system dropped more than twice to 20.35 billion cub. m. with 41.6 billion cub. m. in 2021.

According to the ExPro consulting company, the transmission of Russian natural gas by the Ukrainian GTS reached the lowest values last year since the independence of Ukraine.

In 2022, Russia used only half of the reserved 40 billion cub. m. of capacity for supplies. At the same time, the long-term contract concluded for 2020-2024 on the “pump-or-pay” terms provides that Russia must pay for the entire reserved volume.

In general, Russia transmitted natural gas through Ukraine to the following four countries during 2022: Slovakia, Moldova, Poland and Romania. Most of the gas was transmitted to Slovakia – almost 16.5 billion cub. m., 40% less than in 2021. Also, 2.5 billion cub. m. of gas were pumped to Moldova, 21% less than in 2021.

In addition, there were supplies of Russian gas to Poland of 1 billion cub. m. (-65%) and to Romania – 0.4 billion cub. m. (-10%) at the beginning of the year. However, Russian gas has been delivered through Ukraine only to Slovakia and Moldova since May.

At the beginning of 2023, the transit of Russian gas continued to fall. Since 4 January, Russia has reduced daily supplies of natural gas through the Ukrainian gas transmission system to European consumers by another 10% up to 38.4 million cub. m. According to ExPro, this is a new all-time low.

Currently, Russia transmits natural gas through Ukraine to two countries: Slovakia and Moldova. Supplies to Moldova remain stable, making about 6 million cub. m. per day. On the other hand, on 4 January, supplies to Slovakia decreased from 36.8 million cub. m. to 32.8 million cub. m.

These pumping volumes are almost three times lower than the reserved capacity of 109.6 million cub. m. per day.

Currently, the reasons for the further reduction of Russian gas supplies to Europe are unknown. At the same time, natural gas prices in European markets continue to decline – to EUR67/MWh (or USD750/thousand cub. m.), the lowest value since 18 February 2022.

In 2021, as reported by Ukrainian Energy, Gas TSO of Ukraine LLC transited 41.6 billion cub. m. of natural gas to Europe. This is 25% less than in 2020.

The average daily volume of gas transit in 2021 was 114 million cub. m. per day; it decreased to 67 million cub. m. in certain periods.

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