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Ukraine gas transit to Europe plunges by quarter after pipeline blast in Austria

Ukraine gas transit to Europe plunges by quarter after pipeline blast in Austria
Ukraine is sending 23 percent less Russian gas this Wednesday to Europe following the fatal explosion at the Austrian gas facility on Tuesday.

Despite the plunge in transit, “Ukraine will timely fulfill the requests of European importing countries and is ready to increase the volume of pumping of gas to Europe after the receipt of relevant applications," a spokesman for the Ukrainian energy ministry Maksim Belyavsky told RIA Novosti.

The blast didn’t affect Ukrainian consumers, he said.

"There are no changes for Ukrainian consumers. Ukraine continues to get gas from three sources: national production (58.1 million cubic meters per day), reserves in storage (48.1 million cubic meters per day) and imports from Europe," said Belyavsky. Ukraine buys Russian gas not directly from Gazprom but re-imports it from EU countries like Slovakia.

On Tuesday, an explosion occurred at the hub of Austrian gas company OMV in Baumgarten. One person was killed, another 21 injured. The work of the center was halted, stopping deliveries to Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. Transit was fully restored by the evening.

The gas hub in Baumgarten is an international trading platform and is one of the three largest gas distribution centers in Europe. About a third of the Russian gas supplied to Western Europe is pumped through the station.