On the edge of an energy abyss

On the edge of an energy abyss

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Analyst Alexander Pasechnik — problems in Russian-Ukrainian relations in the energy sector


Photo: lime/Alex Maishev

In a decaying energy cooperation of Russia and Ukraine of more difficulties. Besides the well-known gas problems in the field of view now and troubles with our supply of diesel fuel in the Square.

In mid-March it became known that the pipeline supplies of Russian diesel fuel to Ukraine have been suspended for a month due to the fact that the Federal service for technical and export control (FSTEC of Russia) does not have the necessary documents. The energy Ministry said that, according to Transneft, the supply was suspended in early February “in connection with the renegotiation of contracts to export oil products”.

Materials on теме1Delivery of diesel fuel from Russia to Ukraine resumed Economy

A few days later the official representative of “Transneft” Igor Dyomin reported that Russia has resumed deliveries of diesel fuel to Ukraine. In a statement, the Ministry also stressed that Russia does not have an intergovernmental agreement on oil supplies to Ukraine and Hungary and exports of diesel fuel to these areas is carried out by business entities based on economic feasibility. And so to speak about the termination of deliveries of fuel from Russia is incorrect. In other words, Moscow legally has no obligation to provide Kiev with diesel fuel.

Meanwhile, Ukraine does not get tired to boast that for the first time in its history completes the heating season without direct purchases of Russian gas. However, it has long been known that increasing the volume of the reverse purchasing “Naftogaz” in Europe ultimately formed from the Russian blue fuel, which comes first contractors of the Old world, and then resold the Square. Now, when Moscow agreed to withdraw its European partners contractual restrictions on re-export of gas, “Naftogaz” legally, of course, will be easier to interact with reverse countries. But that’s a large commercial loss of Kiev inevitable — as you know, an overpayment of Ukraine’s European partners have achieved in the IV quarter of 2016 $20-30 per thousand cubic meters of gas.

In addition, you need to understand that the savings of natural gas, which the Ukrainian authorities believe their undoubted accomplishment, primarily the result of the total degradation of the industrial sector and decentralization of heat supply. This is often due to banal transition of households on firewood and diesel fuel, and not with the introduction of “energy efficiency programs”, which are so widely advertised by the Ukrainian leadership.

In ode of the Ukrainian authorities “energy independence” of the Republic is a great role and glorious future of the gas transportation system (the SCSU). It still assigned the strategic hope — namely, the income from transit fees for pumping Russian gas to Europe. But it’s absurd thoughts. Let me remind you that Russia is rapidly promotes circuitous projects — “Nord stream-2” and “Turkish stream”. Their early start up automatically deprive Ukraine of the status of a transit country for Russian gas.

And Kiev is just the same, Moscow is pushing to abandon the use SCSU — pipe almost under construction and is not modernizarea because of lack of investment. And the level of obsolescence has long been critical. At this rate for the transit of raw materials Kyiv lifts higher and higher. And this is leading to a complete rupture of the gas cooperation between Russia and Ukraine.

Although, maybe Moscow and not averse to save the Ukrainian route as complementary to the new getmagicfile in Europe — from the point of view of logistics, some of the volumes of Russian fuel at SCSU it would be convenient to continue to deliver in a number of countries in South-East Europe. But then Kiev should hurry to go forward. First, to reduce the tariff for pumping gas to an adequate level. And secondly, of course, it is reasonable to think about selling SCSU, so much cherished by independent authorities, external investors, so it finally upgraded. Yes, the time is highly politicized, but drama for the country is actually there. Ordinary citizens of Ukraine, in principle, anyway, who owns the pipe. Population important to the price of gas was reasonable, and did not grow galloping pace, as in recent years.

I want to believe that the scenario with the preservation of the SCSU will not be a utopia. Because the Poroshenko regime is not eternal. And if the power in Ukraine will come the forces that are configured on a more pragmatic cooperation with Russia, this may create preconditions for the energy synergy.

Author — the head of analytical Department of national energy security Fund

See also:

Media: Russia will limit the supply of diesel fuel in Belarus

Klimkin urged the West to engage in dialogue with Moscow only from a position of strength