GAS MARKET ROUNDTABLE BETWEEN UKRAINE AND THE EU
Participants recognised the progress being made by Ukraine to increase its energy security, inter alia through the modernisation of its gas transportation system, the diversification of its sources of gas, and its efforts to move forward with gas sector reforms and restructuring of NJSC Naftogas of Ukraine in line with its Energy Community commitments. They recognised that Ukraine is at a crossroads, with a major opportunity to develop beyond its important traditional role as a transit country and also become a gas hub for Eastern Europe due to its conventional and unconventional gas resources, its extensive pipeline network and its important gas storage facilities.
It was recognised that a precondition for the further development of the Ukrainian gas market and its progressive integration into the EU gas market is the development of an effective long-term strategy for the use of the gas transmission and storage assets involving all relevant stakeholders as well as a clear, non-discriminatory and stable legal and regulatory framework, in line with Energy Community commitments. In this context, the importance of ensuring both bidirectional physical flows and virtual reverse flows for gas was highlighted, with a priority being placed on facilitating a solution for such flows between the Ukrainian and Slovakian transmission system operators in accordance with Energy Community commitments.
Participants recognised substantial progress in FDI (foreign direct investment) in PSAs (production sharing agreements) of conventional and unconventional gas in Ukraine. The role of the Ukrainian gas transmission system was underlined, with Ukraine’s geographical position and existing gas transit, storage and production capacities offering significant flexibility, provided that reforms are fully implemented in line with Ukraine’s Energy Community commitments in order to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework as well as increase the transparency of the gas transit business. The importance of facilitating EBRD and EIB funding for reconstruction of Ukrainian gas transit system was highlighted. The importance of promoting a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine consortium for managing transit through Ukraine was stressed as this would ensure that the concerns of all the parties involved could be taken into account.
It was agreed that a consultative committee consisting of representatives of the Commission and Ukrainian authorities, the Energy Community Secretariat, the concerned EU Member States and interested companies and financial institutions would be established to provide a forum to support the continuing process of gas sector reforms in Ukraine. It is intended that this consultative committee will meet on an ad hoc basis, jointly analyse developments on the Ukrainian gas market and, as appropriate, offer recommendations to the European Commissioner for Energy and the Ukrainian Minister for Energy and Coal Industry.