4 April 2013, 17:39

Yamal-Europe-2 Gas Pipeline: Return

Nord Stream Северный поток трубопровод

The second branch of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline with a capacity of 15 billion cubic metres may be put into operation in 2018-2019. This pipeline runs via 4 countries - Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany. Meeting with Gazprom’s Head Alexei Miller, President Putin said that Gazprom should resume the development of the project, which is expected to raise the reliability of gas supplies to European countries.

The stability of the Russian gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe causes certain fears among the Gazprom leadership. Gas disputes that emerge from time to time in the transit of gas across Ukraine are the reason for such fears. The Yamal-Europe -2 gas pipeline is facing the task of ensuring the reliability of Russian supplies, Vladimir Putin said talking with Alexei Miller.

"I would like you to re-activate the Yamal-Europe -2 project. I know that you are actively dealing with this issue together with Gazprom’s partners. I mean raising the reliability of gas supplies to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. This – in view of the commissioning of the Nord Stream gas pipeline can’t be a repetition of the Yamal -Europe -1 project. My question is what option you will find good for broadening our possibilities in this direction and what agreement you have reached with our partners."

"Following your instructions, we have carefully studied the option providing for the construction of a gas pipeline on the Belarusian territory. We understand perfectly well that the transit via Belarus through the Yamal –Europe-1 gas pipeline is for us the most economicallyeffective today because the gas-transport system is Gazprom’s ownership now."

Alexei Miller told the President that the talks with Polish, Hungarian and Slovakian partners have already been completed. All of them are ready to start developing the technical-economic feasibility for this project. The Gazprom head says that the Yamal-Europe – 2 project can be implemented after the works on the South Stream are over – approximately, in 2018-2019. The participants voiced certainty that this scheme would ensure 100 per cent reliability of gas supplies. Director of the National Energy Security Foundation Konstantin Simonov has a similar opinion.

"Judging by the facts, Gazprom has no plans to wait for the end of talks with Ukraine. It is becoming clear that Ukraine is losing its status of transiter of the Russian gas. Before the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline is over, it will be excluded from the system of supplies. Nord Stream has enabled us to increase supplies to Western Europe, bypassing Ukraine. Now we want to take away Ukraine as a transiter to the east and south."

Earlier this week Gazprom entered into polemics with Kiev over the scheme of reverse gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine- they are now being carried out across Poland and Hungary, and Slovakia can be involved in this as well. Ukraine organized the “virtual reverse” of the Russian gas, trying to gain in price. Judging by the facts, Moscow’s decision came as a surprise for Ukraine. And one more thing here. Gazprom is currently holding talks with its British partners. And soon Britain will be able to receive gas through a branch line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline that will be built specially for it.

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