Wed, January 21, 2009
World > Europe > Russia-Ukraine gas row

Russian natural gas to resume flow to Romania

2009-01-20 18:20:22 GMT2009-01-21 02:20:22 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BUCHAREST, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The import of Russian natural gas might resume Tuesday night but more certainly Wednesday morning, General Manager of Romania's gas pipeline operator Transgaz Ioan Rusu said on Tuesday.

"We have begun the moves to start the facilities ensuring the flow of Russian gas. Thus, the imports will be resumed in a few hours, but more certainly early on Wednesday," Rusu said.

Transgaz was officially notified by the Balkan distribution office of Gazprom Export that the natural gas supply to the European countries has been resumed. The normal parameters of the gas flow and delivery will be reached in about six or 10 hours since the beginning of the re-commissioning of the facilities.

Russian company Gazprom cut off natural gas supplies on Jan. 6 following economic disagreements between Russia and Ukraine, thus prompting the Romanian workers at Isaccea metering station to close the valves in order to prevent gas from the Romanian pipelines to flow back to Ukraine.

Russian gas should have reached Romania nearly a week ago, after Gazprom-Export formally notified on Jan. 13 the Romanian side that the supply of Russian gas to Ukraine had been resumed, the Romanian Economy Ministry said.

But later on Russian news agency ITAR-TASS carried a statement by Gazprom Vice President Aleksandr Medvedev who announced Ukraine had blocked all actions of the Russian side meant to resume gas transit to Europe, and such situation made the resumption of gas flow via Ukraine impossible.

Romania has imported natural gas from Russia exclusively for 30years and the gas supplies reach Romania at the metering stations of Isaccea 2 in the northeast and Mediesul Aurit in the northwest. Some 70 percent to 75 percent of the total Russian supplies reach Romania at Isaccea 2, with the remainder being delivered via Mediesul Aurit.

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