Gazprom says gas supplies to Poland ‘exact same’ in response to complaint
“There wasn’t and isn’t any cut in gas supplies to Poland. We keep on delivering the exact same volume of gas as we did last week – 23 million cubic meters per day,” Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov told RT Thursday.
State-run Polish oil and gas utility PGNiG claimed that as of September 10, Gazprom was only delivering 55 percent of its gas order, according to a statement published on September 11 on the company's website.
The company said it has decided to import gas from Germany and the Czech Republic to make up the shortfall. It has also halted 4 million cubic meters in reverse flows to Ukraine.
Poland confirmed it suspended the supply of gas to Ukraine on Wednesday. Polish authorities say they have notified the European Commission (EC) on the 45 percent supply cut.
"We have also been informed that the Polish authorities are now looking into the cause, whether it is of a commercial nature or of a technical nature," Commission spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said, as quoted by Reuters.
The alleged missing gas is delivered under the Yamal contract and is piped through Ukraine and Belarus. Poland claimed supplies were down 20 percent on Monday, and 24 percent on Tuesday.
PGNiG wrote that is hasn’t yet received an explanation from Gazprom as to why it hasn’t received its contracted gas supplies.
Gazprom said that under the Yamal contract with PGNiG it is not obliged to meet demand from customers that exceed contract volumes, RIA Novosti reported.
On Wednesday, Gazprom replied to Polish complaints, and said the missing gas was simply a pre-winter maintenance routine to fill up Russian storage sites.
According to Igor Prokopiv, CEO of Uktransgaz, Ukraine’s state-controlled gas transport company, Russia is intentionally reducing supplies to the EU to cut off reverse flows to Ukraine. Russia turned off gas supplies to Ukraine in June over pricing disputes and debt.
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has warned that Ukraine may begin to siphon off Russian gas intended for Europe.
Ukraine’s natural gas consumption is 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, and with only an estimated 15 bcm saved up for winter, it hopes to important 16 billion this year, with the biggest amount using reverse flow from Slovakia and Hungary.
Russia, Ukraine, and the European Commission will hold trilateral energy talks on September 20 in Berlin.