Europe, which the EIA defines as including Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, EU member and non-EU Balkan states, consumed 18.7 trillion ft3 of natural gas last year. Russia supplied 30% of this volume, with a significant amount flowing through Ukraine. The EIA estimates 16% of Europe’s total natural gas imports passed through Ukraine’s pipeline network, based on data reported by Gazprom and Eastern Bloc Energy.
Natural gas transport and infrastructure
Two major pipeline systems carry gas from Russia through Ukraine to Western Europe, the Bratstvo or Brotherhood and Soyuz or Union pipelines. The Bratstvo pipeline is Russia’s largest pipeline to Europe and crosses from Ukraine to Slovakia and splits in two to supply northern and southern European countries. The Soyuz pipeline links Russian pipelines to natural gas networks in Central Asia and supplies additional volumes to central and northern Europe. A third major pipeline through Ukraine delivers Russian natural gas to the Balkan countries and Turkey.
Natural gas volumes
In the past, up to 80% of Russian natural gas exports to Europe transited Ukraine. This number has fallen to 50 – 60% since the Nord Stream pipeline, a direct link between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, came online in 2011.
Natural gas flows through Ukraine vary by season, ranging from approximately 12 billion ft3/d of natural gas in the winter to as low as 6 billion ft3/d in the summer. An unusually mild winter last year meant reduced natural gas flows through Ukraine and contributed to higher levels of natural gas storage in Europe.
Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd.
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