U.S. to help Poland, Ukraine disconnect from Russian gas – Reuters

10:00, 01 September 2019

The Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement is due to expire in January and Ukrainian energy authorities are worried that Moscow could stop gas supplies through Ukraine, leaving some Ukrainian regions without gas in winter.

The United States, Poland, and Ukraine agreed on Saturday to enhance cooperation over secure gas supplies in the region which still relies on Russia. “We’re helping Poland to reduce its dependence on Russian gas,” U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told a news conference in Warsaw after meeting officials from Poland and Ukraine, Reuters wrote.

The Polish government official responsible for energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, said Poland, which has increased purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States in recent years, would be able to send six billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine starting from 2021 compared to the current capability of 1.5 bcm.

“We will take every effort to diversify gas supplies to Ukraine, which is now completely dependent on Russian deliveries,” Naimski told the same conference. Perry, Naimski and Ukraine’s Secretary of National Security Oleksandr Danyliuk signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance security of gas supplies in the region via LNG supplies from the U.S. through Poland’s and Ukraine’s infrastructure which still has to be expanded.

Under a policy it calls energy dominance, the administration of President Donald Trump, who canceled his trip to Warsaw earlier this week over a hurricane threat in Florida, is seeking to slash domestic regulations on energy production to boost oil and gas exports to allies and trade partners.

It is seeking to offer Europe alternative sources of gas to fuel sent via pipeline from Russia, which is generally cheaper than U.S. LNG, but has not always been reliable with Russia at times stopping deliveries to Ukraine and parts of Europe during pricing disputes.

More than a third of Russia’s gas exports to the European Union cross Ukraine, which traditionally uses some of the gas pumped by Russia to European consumers for its own needs in eastern and central regions. But the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement is due to expire in January and Ukrainian energy authorities are worried that Moscow could stop gas supplies through Ukraine, leaving some Ukrainian regions without gas in winter.

Also Poland, which is seen as one of Washington’s closest allies in Europe, still buys most of the gas it consumes from Russia, has taken steps to cut this reliance after 2022 when its long-term deal on gas supplies from Gazprom expires.

Poland’s imports of LNG, including from the U.S., via the Baltic Sea terminal at Swinoujscie have jumped in recent years as part of a wider plan to cut reliance on Russian supplies. Earlier this week Poland’s state-run gas firm PGNiG said that it bought a cargo of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. and sold it to Ukraine.

(C) Unian 2019

5 comments

  1. If Poland can buy Gas from the US then sell it on to Ukraine, why doesn Ukraine not buy it straight from the US?

    Is it an infrastructure lack, such as no marine terminal?

    • As of now, Ukraine does not have a LNG receipt terminal. There have been plans to construct a floating terminal for a few years butThere have been no development updates since 2017 and the project is presumed to be shelved.

    • Yes, that is as I understand it. I believe I read there are plans to build a terminal in Odesa and more infrastructure as you mentioned. The Baltics and Poland know Putler’s game so they’re ready for the American gas.

    • I remember something about working on construction of a regassification terminal close to Odesa. With Pootlerstan military and subversive antics active in the area, investors seem reluctant. It appears Pootlerstan is attempting to extend control over the Black Sea also now. Tzar Pootie of Murder’s, oops that should be Mordor’s imperial ambitions become more obvious to anyone watching.

What is your opinion?