Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Gas supply shortfall reported in Poland

Poland’s gas monopoly PGNiG and pipeline operator OGP Gaz-System report a six percent shortage of gas coming through from pipelines through Ukraine.

The shortage, reported on Friday afternoon, follows Russia turning off the taps to Ukraine in a dispute over 2 billion dollars of unpaid bills to Gazprom.

Warsaw says that the shortfall is being made up by alternative supply routes via Belarus.

Hungary and Romania have also reported shortfalls of supply, with the latter reporting a 30 to 40 percent drop in gas coming from Gazprom. Poland reported a similar drop off in pressure in delivery pipes when Russia cut off gas to Ukraine in 2007.

The Russian gas giant has accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas from supplies intended to Poland and the rest of Europe.

The EU - which collectively relies on one fifth of its supply needs from the pipeline vua Ukraine - has called for a resolution of the conflict.

Earlier Poland had reassured customers that it has several days of gas in reserves.