Ukraine Did Not Steal Gas, Gazprom Admits

MOSCOW, Russia -- The Gazprom Russian gas company officials say they did not cut gas supplies to Europe during the two weeks of extreme cold in Russia and Europe in the beginning of 2012, although earlier they accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas, the Gazprom corporate magazine of the Russian gas monopoly informed.

"In February 2012, during the two weeks of extreme cold in Russia and Europe, we did not cut Russian gas supplies abroad. Exports were not diminished, but increased. Europe failed to increase domestic gas production and purchases from other producers. As a result, additional demand for our gas exceeded our expectations by 50%," Medvedev said.

According to him, Turkey and Greece applied for gas supplies above contract quality and the supplies were made by the Gazprom export LLC in full.

Almost 95% of gas short-delivered in Europe from Libya was compensated by the Russian company.

"However, in that situation we could not have satisfied 100% of all applications received. Although, if we worked with the European Commission more consistently, we would have satisfied all the applications. Actually, all our export projects in Europe are realized for this purpose," Medvedev said.

He noted that currently the Gazprom faces the EC opposition in terms of expanding opportunities for delivering Russian gas to European markets.

The corporate magazine notes that, nevertheless, this year the supply of the Gazprom export gas company to foreign countries will make, according to the company, at least 150 billion cubic meters, and 222 billion cubic meters within the former Soviet states.

Export earnings are expected to reach $84.5 billion USD, including $61 billion USD from the sale to non-CIS countries and $23.5 billion dollars from sales abroad.

He noted that the European consumers of Russian gas requested to increase the supply because of the abnormally low temperatures in early February, when the Danube River and the canals in Venice froze.

However, the supplied gas did not reach Europe, remaining in Ukraine.

Medvedev asked, whether Ukraine requested to increase the gas supply.

Miller stressed that by contrast Ukraine this year raised the question "to reduce the supply from 52 billion cubic meters per year to 27 billion cubic meters."

"However, in cold weather Ukraine took more," he stated.

Although, the Gazprom gas company has not properly formalized in writing its claim over the Ukraine’s alleged siphoning off gas and has not determined its volume.

Source: ForUm