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Explosion shuts section of main gas pipeline in Ukraine

Highlights

Supplies diverted via parallel pipeline section

Investigation is under way

Repair is expected to be completed in 2-3 days

Kyiv — A major explosion near Kyiv has rocked the massive Kyiv-Western Ukraine-1 natural gas pipeline that moves gas from fields in Eastern Ukraine to underground storage facilities near the border with the EU, the authorities said Sept. 15.

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The explosion hit a section of the pipeline near the town of Chabany at 00:20 local time (2120 GMT). No one was hurt by the explosion, the Emergency Situations Ministry reported.

The damaged section of the pipeline, with a diameter of 1,020 mm, was shut down at 01:10 local time to prevent further loss of gas and other pipelines were used to reroute supplies, the ministry said.

"There are no victims. Gas supplies to consumers organized through other pipelines. This situation in no way affects the transit of gas to the EU," the Ukrainian state gas shipper OGTSU said in a statement.

The damaged section remains shut pending an investigation, but repair work is expected to be completed within the next two to three days, according to OGTSU.

Ukraine, which is a major shipper of Russian gas to Europe, also has a vast network of gas pipelines and massive underground storage facilities on the border with the EU, which are capable of holding 31 Bcm of gas.

Ukraine accumulated 26.65 Bcm of gas as of Sept. 12, up 39% from the 19.19 Bcm collected as of the same day a year ago, according to UkrTransGaz, the state-owned company that operates gas storage facilities.

Ukraine shipped 34.8 Bcm of Russian natural gas to Europe in January-August, down 42% from 59.6 Bcm shipped in January-August 2019.