Ukraine siphoned off German gas: E.on-Ruhrgas

3rd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 January 2006, ESSEN, GERMANY - Germany's two main gas importing companies, E.on Ruhrgas and Wingas, confirmed Tuesday they were again receiving the full contractual amounts of gas by pipeline, two days after Russia had ceased pumping gas in a dispute with Ukraine.

3 January 2006

ESSEN, GERMANY - Germany's two main gas importing companies, E.on Ruhrgas and Wingas, confirmed Tuesday they were again receiving the full contractual amounts of gas by pipeline, two days after Russia had ceased pumping gas in a dispute with Ukraine.

One of the companies said the evidence at the receiving end showed that Ukraine had again been siphoning off gas intended for the West.

Gazprom had earlier assured customers west of Ukraine that it would compensate them for supplies that went missing from pipes that lead across Ukrainian territory, and accused Ukraine of theft.

"The pressure in the pipelines has been normal again since this morning," said Andreas Reichel, a spokesman for E.on-Ruhrgas in Essen, Germany. On Monday, one of the two east-west pipelines crossing Ukraine had supplied 30 per cent less gas than usual.

He said E.on-Ruhrgas had obtained larger supplies of gas from other European sources on that day to replenish the shortfall.

At Wingas, based in the northern city of Kassel, a spokesman said, "After a temporary decline in pressure, our supplies via Ukraine into Germany are proceeding freely. The situation has normalized."

The E.on-Ruhrgas spokesman said of the missing gas, "It obviously must have been siphoned off in Ukraine."

Three pipelines dedicated solely to supplying western Europe passed through Ukraine, and his company estimated nearly 100 million cubic metres of gas that Gazprom had pumped Monday evening had gone missing.

Reichel said losses on Sunday had been less evident because there was less demand in Germany since factories had been closed for a public holiday and heating systems were at low burn because of mild weather that day.

Wingas, in which Gazprom holds 35 per cent of the shares, said its susceptibility was limited because it had the biggest underground gas storage facility in western Europe. "We are being kept constantly informed by the Russians," the spokesman said.

Germany uses 100 billion cubic metres of gas annually, with about one third of that amount imported from Russia.

Both Russia and the western European customers have repeatedly complained that Ukraine is tapping into the pipelines.

DPA

Subject: German news

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