Kiev, March 2 - Neftegaz.RU.
According to Ukrainian UNIAN, CEO of Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) Serhiy Makogon says the company launched a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Slovakia on March 1, 2020, which was earlier impossible under the previous gas transit contract with Russia's Gazprom
"A virtual gas reverse flow will start operating on the Ukraine-Slovakia border on March 1. We have been seeking and striving toward this for almost 5 years," he wrote on Facebook on February 28.
Due to Gazprom, which was trying to limit Ukraine's ability to import gas from the EU, the country in 2014 could not import gas via a virtual reverse system, the official said. Thus, Ukraine had to build a new interconnector, namely the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline, to start gas supplies from Slovakia
, which allowed it to withstand and avoid total dependence on Gazprom.
"We needed to sign a direct agreement with the Slovak GTS operator and achieve the realization of this opportunity
[a virtual natural gas reverse flow] under the agreement. Relevant changes have been made to Ukrainian legislation. We thank the [National Energy and Utilities Regulation Commission] NEURC for their support! Amendments to the Customs Code have been made as well. But most importantly, we managed to remove Gazprom from our GMSs [gas measuring stations] on the country's western borders, and now we completely control our relations with European GTS operators," he added.
However, the Slovak GTS operator offers only a virtual gas reverse flow capacity of 10 million cu m per day, while the company is seeking to have the capacity equal the full volume of gas transit from Ukraine to Slovakia. According to Makogon, a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Hungary will also be launched soon. The virtual reverse system significantly expands the possibilities for gas supplies from Ukraine
to the EU, which significantly enhances the country's energy security.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine launched a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Poland in late January 2020. Ukraine in 2019 boosted natural gas imports by 34.4%, or by 3.65 billion cu m (bcm), up to 14.25 bcm. In particular, 9.15 bcm of gas was imported via the Slovak gas transport corridor, while 1.4 bcm and 3.67 bcm was shipped from Poland and Hungary, respectively.