KIEV, February 3 (Itar-Tass) —— As severe cold snaps Ukraine consumes one billion cubic metres of natural gas over the course of three days, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told a news conference on Friday.
“Anomalous frosts are all over the territory of Ukraine with temperature reaching as low as minus 34-35 degrees Celcius at nights. A day earlier Ukraine’s daily energy system consumption amounted to 31,000 megawatts,” he said. “Never before we had such colossal consumption. We burnt one billion cubic metres of gas over three days.”
The prime minister said that the country is facing a complicated situation.
“It is a very difficult time now both for the country and its people, but losing stability in the country is another colossal difficulty,” he continued, expressing hope that Ukraine would cope with the challenges and would develop steadily.
In early January, Ukraine consumed 110-120 million cubic metres of natural gas daily, and with the frosts the consumption reached 160 million cubic metres.
On Friday, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Boiko said that several European countries received less than contracted amounts of gas via Ukraine’s gas transporting system because of Gazprom’s lower supplies.
“The problem is that Russia faces major frosts, thus supplies of gas to the country /Ukraine/ have been cut,” he said. “With the technical agreement for 490 million cubic metres of gas a day we are receiving supplies of 415 million cubic metres a day.”
On Thursday, Naftogaz Ukrainy made a statement guaranteeing gas supplies to Europe and to domestic consumers. The company said that the level of gas transported via Ukraine’s territory and the level of takeoff of the imported natural gas comply with the contract with Russia’s Gazprom.
Earlier, Italy claimed that it received less natural gas than it was supposed to from Russia. Gazprom, in turn, claimed it had been supplying gas in full.