KIEV, November 12, 12:24 /ITAR-TASS/. Naftogaz Ukrainy company does not intend to buy gas from the Russian gas giant Gazprom until the end of this year. Kommersant-Ukraina newspaper reported with the reference to sources in Naftogaz about the plans of the company, which stopped buying Russian gas since November 8. “The gas reserves from the underground storages will be used until the end of the year,” the newspaper reported.
“Ukraine does not need additional amounts of fuel. A quite warm weather set in now and the gas reserves accrued in the underground storages are enough for the operation of the public utilities,” the newspaper quoted a source in the Ukrtransgaz company, which is Naftogaz’s subsidiary, as saying. According to the source, Naftogaz does not have money, it does not want to take new debts, because it had already owed to Gazprom about 800 million dollars for gas supplies in August. This debt is repaid at the pace comparable with default interest (six percent per annum).
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said recently that Naftogaz owes 1.35 billion dollars for gas supplies in October. Ukrtransgaz noted that the decision to stop the Russian gas purchases may be revised only in case of severe frosts. The company Ostchem owned by Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash remains the Gazprom client. For October Ostchem has pumped about four billion cubic metres of gas in the underground storages. Experts estimate total reserves in the underground gas storages at 19.3 billion cubic metres.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coalmining Industry reported that for nine months of 2013 the Russian gas imports in the country went down 20 percent year-to-year and amounted to 19.7 billion cubic metres of gas. This is the absolute minimum for all years of Ukraine’s independence.
The gas purchases in Russia are compensated with the gas delivery from European countries. For nine months of this year Poland and Hungary have delivered 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas in the Ukrainian gas transportation system.