MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Norway’s Statoil has struck a contract with Ukraine’s Naftogaz on gas supplies via Slovakia, a spokesman for Statoil told TASS on Friday.
“Statoil signed a contract with a new gas consumer on the European gas market. The contract with Naftogaz Ukrainy provides for gas supplies via Slovakia,” the spokesman said, adding that this was a short-term and small-size contract.
According to earlier reports, Ukraine’s authorities said they were interested in receiving gas from Norway. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten wrote that speaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada /parliament/ Alexander Turchinov had discussed this issue with his Norwegian counterpart Olemic Thommessen when he was visiting Oslo last week to attend a European conference of parliament speakers. Thommessen told the newspaper that Ukraine was seeking to enroll political support from the Norwegian government in its negotiations with Norwegian companies. He said Ukraine was interested in long-term cooperation in a bid to reduce its dependence on energy supplies from Russia.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende told the newspaper that despite the fact that the Norwegian government considered the energy sectors a future priority cooperation area with Ukraine, it preferred to stay aloof from purely commercial issues, such as contracts on gas purchase or sales. He said possible deals were the matter of oil and gas companies, the biggest of which is Statoil ASA, two thirds of which was owed by the government.
Late in September, Statoil signed a big contract on Norwegian liquefied natural gas /LNG/ supplies with Lithuania’s UAB LITGAS. The Lithuanian side, under the contract, will buy 540 million cubic metres of gas a year for a period of five years. This is a minimal amount needed to run a LNG terminal in Klaipeda that is to be commissioned by the end of this year. The gas price, according to the Lithuanian side, is not fixed in the contract and will depend on British gas index.