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From news.com.au


Eighty percent of Russian gas exports to western Europe pass through Ukraine.


"We have information from the ground that shows Ukraine has started illegally siphoning off Russian gas destined for European consumers," Mr Kupriyanov said.


The chief European importers of Russian gas are Germany, Italy and France, which would have to draw down reserves or seek alternative supplies if there was a major supply disruption.


Energy ministers of Germany, Italy, France and Austria have made a joint appeal to Moscow and Kiev to ensure a steady flow of gas despite the stand-off.


Energy officials from EU member states hold an emergency meeting on Jan. 4. "The (European) Commission is concerned and is monitoring the situation" said Mireille Thom, a spokeswoman for the EU executive.


Moscow wants to raise the price of gas it sells to Ukraine to $230 per 1,000 cubic metres from the current $50 ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a level that reflects Soviet-era subsidised rates.


Homes and businesses in Ukraine were still receiving gas on Sunday thanks to reserves and the country's own modest output. But it was expected shortages would begin to bite within days.


Yushchenko, propelled to power in the "Orange Revolution" a year ago, has linked the gas switch-off to the start of campaigning for a parliamentary election on March 26 in which he faces a tough challenge from pro-Moscow parties.


Ukraine has threatened to retaliate by raising the rent that Russia's navy pays to use the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol as headquarters for its Black Sea fleet.


(Additional reporting by Anatoly Titkin, Dmitry Zhdannikov and Meg


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In reply to: ian_whitchurch on Monday 02/01/06 06:47am

Hi Ian, you are of course correct, but it never ceases to amaze me that when push comes to shove all manner of things can be done.........and in record time. Watch China lock up their supplies by buying into them in politically stable countries. Cheap gas prices will going the way of oil prices.

How many politically stable countries are there that have huge supplies of natural gas and actually export it. I can only think of just one.

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In reply to: healyn on Monday 02/01/06 09:24am

Gee, wouldn't this kick off if this turned into a real stand off. Esp if Ukraine threatened to turn off the pipeline altogether.


I reckon Russia would send in the troops if the pipeline security was threatened.


What a risk - cutting the price to a country where your pipeline runs through.


Russia starting to act like Russia again.

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Looks like yogi missed out on telling us about the positive sentiment today - a 7.8% increase in the sp is worthwhile including in any analysis.

My boring fundamental analysis says they broke even on the EBITDAX line in the Dec qtr after including a $1.5mil hedging loss. This was on revenue of $4.5mil for the qtr.

The market won't be really interested in these figures when they're released towards the end of the month as it'll be pricing the stock on what it expects it to earn & produce this calendar year.

If all four wells in the current program are successful then we should see daily production hit 45 to 50mmcf by sometime in March.


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