Ukraine's state-owned gas pipeline network operator GTSOU announced on May 10 on the company's website a force majeure that prevented further gas deliveries through the Sokhranivka gas connection point and the Novopskov border compressor station. Almost a third of the gas delivered from Russia to Europe (up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day) passes through the compressor station.
In an already tense market climate, the disconnection of this important gas artery has further increased concerns about the stability of gas supplies to Europe. Russia had been delivering gas normally through Ukraine until then, despite the escalation of the conflict between the two sides since late February.
GTSOU said it was unable to exercise operational and technical control over the facilities in question because some were located in areas temporarily controlled by the Russian side. The company also stressed that Russian interference in the technical processes and changes in the mode of operation of gas transmission facilities, including unauthorized withdrawal of gas from gas flows, "jeopardizes the stability and security of the entire Ukrainian gas transmission system."
The company informed that the receipt and delivery of gas from the Sokhranivka site will be stopped as of May 11 at 07:00. "To fully meet its transit obligations to its European partners and by the terms of the agreement, the unavailable capacity can be temporarily transferred from the Sokhranivka site to the Sudzha site, which is located in the territory controlled by Ukraine."
Sokhranivka and Sudzha are two key points on the border between Russia and Ukraine that receive gas streams from Gazprom for transit to Europe.
In response, Russian media quoted a Gazprom spokesman as saying that it had not received any confirmation of "force majeure" or disruption of operations at the connection points.
Gazprom said that the connection point accounts for almost a third of Russian gas transit through Ukraine to Europe, with a daily volume of 32.6 million cubic meters. The spokesman also said that Gazprom has informed the Russian side that if Russia continues to supply gas through that Lugansk-based connection point, Kyiv will reduce the same amount at the pipeline outlet, effectively confiscating gas shipped to Western Europe.
Gazprom said that the switch of the connection point, as claimed by the Ukrainian side, is not possible due to systemic reasons.
Russia's total deliveries through Ukraine in March were up to 110 million cubic meters per day, in line with Gazprom's contractual obligations under a five-year transit agreement with Ukraine in December 2019, although transit volumes fell in April, S&P Global data showed.