Last night under Kiev in the area of the village of Chabany, an explosion occurred on a high-pressure gas pipeline. Eyewitnesses around midnight heard a prolonged rumble and a powerful Bang later — as it turned out, the section of the Urengoy — Pomary — Uzhgorod pipeline, through which Russia supplies gas to European. The pipe with a diameter of 1.5 meters was depressurized in the field, so there were no mass casualties. In the nearest settlements, the power supply was cut off and urgently began to redraw the gas supply routes.
By the morning, ex-Minister of infrastructure of Ukraine Vladimir Omelyan confirmed the fact of the emergency. By this time, it was possible to redistribute export flows to other highways. "Depressurization of the gas pipeline in the village of Chabany under Kiev will not affect gas transit to the European Union. Gas supplies to consumers are organized through other gas pipelines," the operator of the gas transportation system (GTS) of Ukraine said. Elimination of the consequences of an accident on the gas pipeline will take 2-3 days.
"It's an emergency, of course, very significant, — said Perov. — The Soviet Urengoy — Pomary — Uzhgorod pipeline system was built in the 1980s and has since become obsolete both physically and technologically. Now physically Ukrainian specialists will have to patch the pipes of 1970-80 years of release, that is, a worn-out system that can break at any time. This is a clear argument for all opponents of the construction of Nord stream 2 in Europe — the Ukrainian system is very unreliable. But we know that the new Russian-German gas pipeline is deliberately politicized, so often common sense and logic are simply rejected by far-fetched motives. And how much European politicians will have the sense to accept such a signal is still a question. In response, there may be biased arguments that such an explosion could have occurred in Of Russia. However, if we are guided by common sense, today's accident is an example of what Europe can expect from the Ukrainian GTS in the future."
"Pipe" requires investment
Urengoy — Pomary — Uzhgorod is a main export gas pipeline built in 1983 to supply natural gas from Siberian fields to consumers in the Union republics and countries of Central and Western Europe. Currently, the Russian part of the pipeline is managed by Gazprom, while the Ukrainian part is managed by Ukrtransgaz, a subsidiary of Naftogaz of Ukraine. And if the Russian part is being served and modernized in an exemplary way, the same cannot be said about the Ukrainian part.
The GTS of Ukraine originated in 1948 with the Dashava — Kiev gas pipeline and was subsequently built by the USSR on a Grand scale — today it is almost 3,7 thousand kilometers. In addition to pipes, the system includes dozens of distribution networks, gas storage facilities, compression and gas measuring stations. The main part of the system was built in 1960-70, so now it is the most expensive and "leaky" system — worn pipes lead to significant losses during pumping.
Kiev is reluctant to maintain the GTS, which it calls a "national treasure". Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov in September 2013 estimated the cost of repairing the pipe at 4.5 billion euros. But since then, the level of annual investment in the GTS has barely reached 10% of the required level.
"The Ukrainian side did not even try to hide that it is chronically underfunding its gas transmission network, but it regularly declares that it is looking for funds for this. And we need multibillion-dollar investments. Of course, Kiev does not have its own money for this, which means that it needs to find an investor. Russia at one time offered to buy out the Ukrainian network and maintain it at its own expense, but Kiyo indignantly refused. This means that we can only look for donors in Europe. The Ukrainian government is proposing a bold project to invest huge sums in the country's GTS to include the network in the common gas system of the European Union. Including the use of Ukrainian gas storage facilities, which are very large. For Kiev, the appearance of such an investor would be a success, but so far there has not been even a hint of it. And Ukrainian gas transport system continues to deteriorate and deteriorate without investments", — emphasizes the future.
Common sense points to Nord stream 2"
Europe is ready to sponsor the modernization of the pipe only if Russia guarantees the transit of "blue fuel" through it. However, for It is much more profitable for Moscow to use the latest gas pipelines, pumping through which is twice as cheap as through the giant outdated Ukrainian network. Components and assemblies for this GTS have not been produced for 25 years, local craftsmen are getting out of it as best they can, but the Soviet reserves of parts are almost depleted.
Meanwhile, in Europe, anti — Russian forces under pressure from the United States announce the need to stop the Nord stream 2 project, linking it to a dubious story about the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny. Without evidence, claims are made about the "combat origin of the poison" and the "political order" of the story. Political analysts have no doubt: the whole story was directed by the United States to stop the construction of the gas pipeline.
"Now the topic of Nord stream 2 is deliberately politicized as much as possible, in order to avoid common sense versions, as well as arguments about the need for this project for Eu. After all, the GTS of Ukraine does not become younger over the years, so the probability of accidents will only grow. And for the EU, it is most important that energy supplies are uninterrupted. The European economy depends on this. If we talk about the maximum benefits, then Europe should leave the Ukrainian GTS and complete the Nord stream — 2 in order to use all its advantages. But in any case, the Ukrainian route requires multibillion-dollar investments to maintain at least its viability, and the question is whether it is ready to give money for this Europe, remains suspended in the air. If you continue to politicize the construction of a new pipeline, it will be a blow to the EU's energy security. But as long as political arguments prevail in Europe, rather than common sense, it is still difficult to predict the fate of the pipeline project under the Baltic sea," Alexander Perov concludes.