Ukrainian Gas Transit: Still Vital for Russian Gas Supplies to Europe as Other Routes Reach Full Capacity
With European gas import demand having risen substantially since 2014, Gazprom has dramatically increased its sales on the European market. In Q1 2018, Gazprom reported record daily gas exports to Europe in late February and early March. This Comment addresses the question of how those volumes were delivered to the market, and the extent to which the infrastructure for delivery of those volumes was used, highlighting that, in times of peak European gas import demand, full utilisation of the Nord Stream and Yamal-Europe pipelines left Ukraine as the only transit route with spare capacity. Until Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream are built, Gazprom will remain dependent on gas transit via Ukraine throughout the year, with Ukraine providing substantial flows in summer as European gas storage facilities are refilled, and a combination of significant flows and additional spare capacity in the winter peak demand period.