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Ukraine uses virtual reverse for European gas imports via Moldova

Ukrainian traders are importing natural gas from European countries via Moldova with subsequent injection into Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities, the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSO of Ukraine) confirmed on 7 February.

Earlier this year, the Moldovan government approved legislative amendments which opened up the possibility for all companies to use the backhaul service (virtual reverse) at the points of connection with Ukraine. This move unblocked gas imports to Ukraine from the south through the Trans-Balkan route.

The aim of the virtual reverse is to optimise the transportation work of GTS operators, in particular, amidst demand for transportation across the border in both directions. In this case, operators carry out physical transportation only in one direction, and in the other, the gas is transported using a virtual reverse (or backhaul). Subsequently, the fuel does not physically move across the border, and the parties carry out a mutual settlement, according to the GTSO of Ukraine.

This is one of the most advanced commercial methods of the European gas market which, among other benefits, reduces carbon emissions during the usual process.

“Last year, European countries, even against the backdrop of the war, became convinced of the importance of Ukrainian gas storage facilities and Ukraine’s reliability as a partner. Ukraine’s gas infrastructure has acted as a buffer between seasonal peaks in demand and supply and provided the necessary flexibility for European energy systems when using renewable energy. The Gas TSO of Ukraine, together with Ukrtransgaz, continues to provide traders with short-haul and customs warehouse services. We offer our partners cooperation that will strengthen the European energy market and contribute to the further integration of Ukraine,” said Pawel Stanczak, Acting General Director of the GTSO of Ukraine.

Today, Ukraine has the opportunity to carry out virtual reverse with all GTS operators of neighbouring European countries, the GTSO of Ukraine added.

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