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Ukraine launches virtual gas reverse flow from Slovakia

Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) has launched a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Slovakia, with a capacity of 10 mcm/d. So far, Ukraine was able to import physically around 43 mcm/d of gas from Slovakia through the Vojany-Uzhgorod gas pipeline but the previous gas transit contract with Gazprom that expired in December 2019 prevented Ukraine from importing gas from Slovakia via a virtual reverse ("backhauling") system.

Since 2016, Ukraine has not directly imported gas from Russia. In January 2020, Ukraine and Russia signed a new five-year gas transit agreement. As part of the agreement, Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftogaz, through its subsidiary Ukrtransgaz, will book transport capacities for Gazprom to deliver 225 bcm of gas to Europe through Ukraine over the five-year period, including 65 bcm in 2020 and 40 bcm/year over the 2021-2024 period. In addition, the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator has signed agreements with all neighbouring operators to ensure gas transit to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Slovakia.

Ukraine created a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Poland in January 2020 and plans to establish a virtual natural gas reverse flow from Hungary. Ukraine's gas imports, which increased by a third in 2019, come mostly from Slovakia (64%), Hungary (26%) and Poland (10%).

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