Ukraine is ready to pump an additional 55 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU

in excess of the 40 billion cubic meters that Gazprom must pump under the transit contract. Ukraine may also assist Moldova’s gas supply, said Oleksiy Danilov, of the National Security and Defense Council. “The Cabinet of Ministers together with Naftogaz Ukraine and the GTS Operator will determine special conditions for the transportation of additional volumes of natural gas of the GTS of Ukraine to EU countries in the amount of at least 55 billion cubic meters per year,” Danilov announced.

Nord Stream 2 gas will not help us this winter,

said Laus-Dieter Maubach, head of Uniper, one of Gazprom’s European partners in the project. According to recent reports in Bloomberg, Maubach believes the pipeline’s certification will be delayed so much that it will not be able to help replenish gas reserves this winter. “The certification of the pipeline, as far as I know, will be completed so late that it will most likely not be able to help us this winter,” Maubach said.

Ukraine wants all-natural gas pipelines to receive equal treatment

which will allow traders to ship Russian gas to markets in the European Union said CEO Naftogaz Yuriy Vitrenko. Speaking at a meeting with Andreas Feicht, ahead of Germany’s process to certify the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 AG. “All companies should receive non-discriminatory access, like Gazprom, to all gas pipelines that connect Russia and the European Union. So that European companies can decide for themselves which pipeline they will transport gas through. We explained how it works and why

In July, Gazprom cut its pipeline deliveries to the EU by 10.3 billion cubic meters

 due to scheduled shutdowns of the Nord Stream 1 and Yamal pipelines for planned maintenance. Rather than make up for this shortfall by sending more gas across Ukraine, Gazprom chose to draw down its German and Austrian underground storage reservoirs to dangerously low levels, says Serhiy Makogon, CEO of Ukraine’s Transmission System Operator.

Tightening the natural gas shortage in the EU, Gazprom has cut by 50% gas shipments through the Yamal pipeline to Poland and stopped pumping gas into underground storage facilities in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands

. With EU storage at only 57.5% of normal mid-summer levels, unfulfilled demand for gas is 16 billion cubic meters, Interfax reports from Moscow, citing data of the Gas Infrastructure Europe portal.

Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator earned $1 billion in the first half of this year, largely by pumping Russian gas to Europe.

 Profits were $208 million, reports the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine. Profits were recorded despite $371 million in unpaid debts by domestic gas distributors. About 80% of this debt is owed by Regional Gas Company, owned by Dmytro Firtash, calculates Ukrainska Pravda. The Operator cannot shut off gas to Firtash’s company as it would shut off gas to most of Ukraine’s households. Threatening this situation, Gazprom’s contract with the Operator ends in 2024.

In a setback for Russia’s gas pipelines to Germany, Europe’s top court yesterday ruled that Gazprom must cut in half its gas volumes through Nord Stream 1 to German’s OPAL pipeline.

The pipeline which runs from the Baltic to the German-Czech border, Reuters reports from Brussels. Under the EU’s Third Energy Package, the other half of Nord Stream 1 must be allocated to other shippers, according to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union. Settling a five-year legal fight initiated by Poland, this court ruling is expected to also apply to Nord Stream 2, and its German onshore extension, EUGAL.

“Putin will use weaponized pipeline to blackmail Europe,

” headlines an essay in the Atlantic Council by Inna Sovsun, a Rada member for the Holos party. “By undermining the country’s status as a key transit route to the EU, Moscow will succeed in dramatically reducing Ukraine’s geopolitical importance,” she warns. “This could pave the way for a major escalation in Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Ukraine.”

With Europe facing a 25% cut in pipeline gas from Russia in July, Gazprom yesterday refused Ukraine’s offer to ship 50% more Russian gas to the EU in July

. Two Russian pipelines – Nord Stream 1 and Yamal-Europe – are to undergo maintenance in July, reducing flows from Russia by 2.2 billion cubic meters. With these scheduled shutdowns in mind, Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System Operator offered to increase daily transit by 51%, to 188 million cubic meters.

News that Gazprom spurned Ukraine’s offer pushed Europe gas prices yesterday over $400/1,000 cubic meters, the highest level in over a decade.

 Facing high prices, Ukraine is delaying filling its storage reservoirs for this winter. Ukraine has 16 billion cubic meters in storage, 18% below the level of this time last year, Naftogaz reports. Interfax-Ukraine has warned: “The injection of gas into underground storage facilities is at a minimum, which leaves no doubt that Europe will meet the new winter with half-empty underground storage facilities.”