The head of Naftogaz said a proposed new pipeline to pump Russian gas to Europe could spell the end for Ukraine’s gas transport business.

In September Russia’s Gazprom formed a consortium with E.ON, BASF, Wintershall, OMV, ENGIE and Shell to develop the Nord Stream-2 pipeline.

It would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine completely from 2019.

According to reports, Naftogaz chief executive Andriy Kobolev told a German daily newspaper Ukrain would “be dead as a transit land for Russian gas”.

Earlier this week a US official said the pipeline could risk depriving Ukraine of more than $2billion in transit fees and ran counter to the EU’s goal of reducing energy reliance.

Gazprom already sends gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea via the Nord Stream pipeline, and Nord Stream-2 would double the capacity of that pipeline to 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) per
year.

Naftogaz has said that it lost at least 34 billion cubic metres of gas transit volume last year because of Nord Stream.

Ukraine, which has the capacity to pump 151 bcm of gas a year to Europe, transported 62 bcm of Russian gas in 2014.

There are currently four routes to deliver Russian gas to Europe: Ukraine, Nord Stream, Yamal-Europe and Blue Stream.

Last year, Russia supplied 34 bcm of gas via Nord Stream, 37 bcm via Yamal-Europe and 14 bcm via Blue Stream.

Kobolev also said that Naftogaz had recently signed a contract to buy gas from a German utility, which he did not name, saying this was cheaper than buying it from Gazprom.