Ukraine says Russia increased gas pipeline pressure without prior notice

(Reuters) -Russian gas giant Gazprom has sharply increased pressure in the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline that delivers Russian gas to Europe without prior notice, the Ukrainian state pipeline operator company said on Tuesday.

Such pressure spikes could lead to emergencies including pipeline ruptures, and pipeline operators are obliged to inform each other about them in advance, the Ukrainian company said.

“Failing to inform the operator in a timely manner carries potential risks to the normal operation of the pipeline,” it said without making it clear whether such operations were currently at risk.

Gazprom could not be immediately reached for comment.

Russia has continued to pump gas through Ukraine even as the two countries are engaged in war. On Monday, Gazprom said its supply of gas to Europe through Ukraine was seen at 41.7 million cubic metres (mcm) on Monday versus 41.2 mcm a day earlier.

At the same time, citing instructions from an industry watchdog, Gazprom on Monday said gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline – which bypasses Ukraine – would fall to 33 million cubic metres per day from Wednesday.

That is half of the current flows, which are already only 40% of normal capacity.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Kim Coghill, Christopher Cushing and Louise Heavens)