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European natural gas supply jeopardised by Russian military actions

Ukraine said on Tuesday, it would suspend the gas flow through a transit point which is key to delivering one third of all natural gas supply to Europe. The suspension is reportedly caused by the infrastructure having been overrun by Russian invaders.

GTSOU, Ukraine’s national gas transfer system operator, said that it will suspend the flow of natural gas from Russia to the West via the Sokhranivka route due to a “force majeure”, a clause invoked when a business is hit by something beyond its control.

According to GTSOU, the gas compressor station in Novopskov can no longer be operated by the company due to “the interference of the occupying forces in technical processes’”, but did add that some of the gas flow could be rerouted via other pipelines, the control of which remains under Ukrainian control. Russian gas distributor, Gazprom, dismissed this as “technologically impossible”, however.

In spite of the Russian invasion, Russian natural gas continued to flow through the pipelines running through Ukraine’s territory. The Novopskov compressor station has been under the control of the invasion forces from early on into the Russian invasion, but remained operational until now.

bWhile GTSOU said it will continue to attempt to maintain gas flow to western Europe, it did state that the gas flow may be reduced by one-third. Gazprom has accused the GTSOU that it will not be able to do so using the proposed alternative routes, and also that there is no “force majeure” that would prevent gas transit via Ukrainian territory.

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