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GTS Operator: Romania and Bulgaria may reduce gas supply risks in winter

16 October 2019

Overall, Europe has prepared well for the 2019-2020 winter, but Romania and Bulgaria may experience difficulties

According to an ENTSO-G report on possible crisis situations this winter, Europe has prepared for the upcoming heating season better than in 2009. Only Romania and Bulgaria may experience difficulties, Serhii Makohon, CEO of Ukraine GTS Operator LLC (UGTSO) wrote on Facebook.

"A new ENTSO-G report simulating possible crisis situations this winter was released. The results show that Europe is better prepared than in 2009 and that no serious problems are expected. However, Romania and Bulgaria may experience difficulties. We are sure that these risks could be minimized in two ways," Serhii Makohon wrote.

He proposes to use Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities to accumulate reserves for these countries, or create a route for transmission of gas from the EU to these countries via Ukraine. As for the former option, Mr. Makohon says that this option was offered to these countries and the European Commission back in spring.

"No response was received," UGTSO CEO said.

Today, the option of unblocking imports to Ukraine from the direction of Slovakia and creating a new delivery route is more viable.

"Currently, the existing guaranteed capacity of import to Ukraine from Slovakia is only 27million per day. This capacity could be technically increased to 120-180 million per day by unblocking some gas pipelines running via Slovakia, whose use in the reverse mode is presently blocked by Gazprom. A firm stance of the European Commission, in particular, DG Competitionand DG Energy, is needed in this respect. The solidarity principle must be not just a slogan but also a rule for the EU. Therefore, Slovakia is obliged to unblock its gas pipelines for deliveries to Bulgaria and Romania in the event of a crisis situation," Serhii Makohon expressed his confidence.

As reported earlier, Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC also proposed alternative routes for gas deliveriesto Moldova. In late September, the government tasked Naftogaz with ensuring gas delivery to Moldova without Gazprom’s participation.

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