Russian gas supply to France down 70 pct

7th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Energy group GDF Suez says it recorded a significant dip in delivery of Russian natural gas on Tuesday.

PARIS – Deliveries of Russian gas to France were down 70 percent from their normal level on Tuesday amid a dispute between Russia and Ukraine, energy group GDF Suez said.

"Whereas the level of deliveries of Russian natural gas passing through the Ukraine was normal until 5 January, GDF Suez has today recorded a very significant drop - by over 70 percent in France," the group said.

"All the necessary measures have been taken to guarantee the continuity of natural gas supplies for all GDF Suez customers in France and in Europe," the statement added.

Russian gas accounts for about 15 percent of French supplies but GDF Suez boasts that it has nine suppliers in all and therefore is well-placed to seek alternative sources in a crisis.

The Russian energy giant Gazprom cut gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January and reduced deliveries through Ukraine after accusing Kiev of illegally tapping into shipments bound for the rest of Europe.

The European Union depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80 percent of which are pumped via Ukraine, and in all, 17 states have so far complained of shortfalls amid bitterly cold weather.

Nevertheless, many countries built up larger gas reserves ahead of a possible breakdown in talks between Russia and Ukraine and it was not immediately clear whether there would be disruption to domestic distribution.

The European Union has demanded that supplies be re-established.

[AFP / Expatica]

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