Pipeline Explodes in Ukraine After Deadline

A major natural gas pipeline exploded in central Ukraine on Tuesday, a day after the Russian energy behemoth Gazprom said that it was cutting off supplies to Ukraine in a dispute over pricing, and officials immediately labeled it a possible act of sabotage.

Utility officials said that natural gas deliveries were not interrupted and that supplies to Ukrainian customers and other European countries were flowing through alternative pipes.

The blast occurred in a sparsely populated area of the Poltava region, which lies between Kiev, the capital, and the embattled regions of eastern Ukraine where a civil war is effectively underway between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military. Video from the scene showed a huge plume of fire shooting hundreds of feet into the sky.

The explosion destroyed a section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline, which runs more than 1,800 miles from Russia’s Arctic north through Ukraine to the border of Slovakia. Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, issued a statement saying investigators’ leading theory was that the attack was deliberate.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza