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01/19/2009 |
http://www.platts.com/Natural%20Gas/News/8295157.xml?sub=Natural%20Gas&p=Natural%20Gas/News&?undefined&undefined

European gas consortium drops plan as Ukraine-Russia talks go on

London (Platts)--19Jan2009

A consortium of some of Europe's biggest gas buyers has dropped its plan
to conclude agreements with Russia in the absence of an agreement between
Ukraine and Russia to end their ongoing gas transit dispute.

Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas, French GDF Suez, Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV
over the weekend made a proposal to Russian export monopoly Gazprom that would
meet "all the necessary gas requirements as stated by Naftogaz of Ukraine for
a short period of time enabling Gazprom and Naftogaz to reach their bilateral
agreements."

But E.ON Ruhrgas said Monday that, "following yesterday's announcement of
a settlement in the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, we assume that,
once the necessary bilateral agreements have been signed, deliveries can be
resumed tomorrow. It is now essential to jointly create without delay all the
technical conditions on both sides so that gas transmission to Europe via
Ukraine can be resumed.

"We assume that it will take about three days after complete resumption
of Russian supplies via Ukraine until full gas volumes are again available in
Waidhaus, Germany.

"All E.ON Ruhrgas customers continue to receive full deliveries without
disruption. E.ON Ruhrgas is using all available procurement and infrastructure
capacities for this purpose. We are also continuing our backup deliveries to
central and east European countries. Partly via subsidiaries, E.ON Ruhrgas is
supplying additional volumes to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary,
Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia."

Russia and Ukraine had still not signed a binding agreement Monday
morning, but there have been talks between the two sides since last week.

The two countries have been engaged in a public argument since the start
of the year about gas transit prices, gas sales prices and unpaid gas bills,
which finally led to Russia disconnecting Ukraine January 7. This affected gas
consumption in the rest of Europe.

Similar stories appear in Platts International Gas Report.
See more information at http://igr.platts.com


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