Russia declines to reroute Sokhranivka gas flows after Ukraine’s force majeure

Aura Sabadus


LONDON (ICIS)–The European benchmark ICIS TTF firmed at the open on 11 May as natural gas flows from Russia to Ukraine over the Sokhranivka border point ceased, following the 10 May declaration of force majeure by grid operator GTSOU.

Russia’s Gazprom declined to reroute additional gas to the Sudzha border point with Ukraine after the transmission system operator halted flows at the other transfer point on Tuesday afternoon.

Gazprom booked 72mcm/day at Sudzha for 11 May but failed to reserve a further 32.6mcm/day to compensate for halted flows typically entering Sokhranivka some 600km away in the Russian-controlled Luhansk province.

Overall Russian nominations via Ukraine to the EU were set to fall 16mcm day on day, as deliveries at the other Russia-Ukraine crossing of Sudzha increased to compensate for some of the lost flows at Sokhranivka.

The grid operator GTSOU declared force majeure on Tuesday afternoon and suspended flows via Sokhranivka amid concerns the occupying troops were tampering with the infrastructure and were illegally withdrawing transit gas.

Dutch TTF June ’22 prices spiked shortly after the announcement on 10 May but ticked lower later towards the end of the trading session.

In response to the GTSOU decision, a Gazprom spokesman confirmed in a Telegram post it received the notification, adding that flows would be reduced accordingly.

It said the rerouting of gas to Sudzha was “technically impossible under the Russian flow scheme.” Full use of Sudzha’s booked capacity would have led to the point flowing at a 77mcm/day rate on 11 May, rather than the nominated 72mcm.

GTSOU replied later on Tuesday evening that the Sudzha border point – which is made up of three pipelines entering the Ukrainian system – has a technical transit capacity of 244mcm/day, which is more than twice Gazprom’s contracted transit volume of 109.6mcm/day.

It also pointed out that the rerouting was technically possible in October 2020, when 165.1mcm/day where transferred from Sokhranivka to Sudzha for a two-week planned maintenance. The contracted transit volume that year was 65bcm and the daily sendout 150.7mcm.


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