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New acting head of Ukraine's gas grid operator pledges uninterrupted operations

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New acting head of Ukraine's gas grid operator pledges uninterrupted operations

Highlights

Priority is ensuring 'stable' operation of gas system: Stanczak

Former general director Sergiy Makogon replaced on Sept 16

Stanczak takes up role at 'difficult moment' ahead of heating season

  • Author
  • Stuart Elliott
  • Editor
  • James Leech
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas
  • Topic
  • Europe Energy Price Crisis War in Ukraine

The new acting head of Ukraine's state-owned gas grid operator GTSOU has pledged to ensure the uninterrupted transportation of the system, but conceded that he was taking up the position during a "difficult moment."

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GTSOU said late Sept. 22 that Pawel Stanczak had been appointed as acting general director after Sergiy Makogon was dismissed on Sept. 16.

GTSOU is responsible for gas transit via Ukraine, as well as domestic transportation, and has faced operational challenges since Russia's invasion in February.

"It is a great responsibility for me to support the company at such a difficult moment," Stanczak said.

"I see the priority in ensuring the stable operation of the gas transmission system. The main task of our team is to prepare for the heating season and ensure uninterrupted gas transportation to consumers," he said.

GTSOU is also to continue to work to restore infrastructure damaged as a result of the hostilities, he said.

No explanation was given for the dismissal of Makogon who had led GTSOU since its creation as independent gas system operator in 2019 after it was separated out from state-owned Naftogaz Ukrayiny.

GTSOU began its operations as TSO at the start of 2020 following the signing of a new five-year gas transit deal with Russia's Gazprom.

Transit gas

GTSOU continues to transit Russian gas to Europe despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, though volumes have fallen below ship-or-pay levels.

In June, Russian gas flows via Ukraine totaled just 1.25 Bcm, according to GTSOU, or an average of around 41 million cu m/d.

According to the five-year transit deal agreed at the end of 2019, Gazprom must pay for 40 Bcm of gas transit via Ukraine in 2022, or an average of 110 million cu m/d, whether it flows that much gas or not.

Overall, Gazprom shipped just 12.27 Bcm of gas to Europe via Ukraine in January-June, GTSOU said.

Lower Russian flows to Europe have helped keep gas prices at sustained highs through 2022.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the Dutch TTF month-ahead price at an all-time high of Eur319.98/MWh on Aug. 26. It was last assessed on Sept. 22 at Eur188/MWh, still 160% higher year on year.

Related Interactive: Russian gas market share in Europe on the wane as LNG, Norway step up