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KIEV, October 20. /TASS/. Ukrainian company Naftogaz offered its gas transportation capacities on the western border for gas imports from the European Union to the interested companies, the company’s press service said Tuesday.
"In order to ensure stable supply of natural gas to Ukraine and to increase competition in the domestic natural gas market Naftogaz of Ukraine invites interested companies to use the available gas transportation capacities, booked by Naftogaz at the Budince border point near the Ukrainian-Slovak border," the company’s statement said.
It is reported that Naftogaz is ready to offer flexible mechanism of interaction between providers depending on the volume and duration of the gas supply.
According to optimistic data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal mining, "the country needs to save at least 7 mln tons of coal and about 20 bln cubic meters of gas for a comfortable heating season." "At the moment, coal stocks in warehouses of Ukrainian thermal power plants amount to roughly 2 mln tons (28% of the necessary volume), about 16 bln cubic meters of fuel in underground storage facilities (80% of the necessary volume)," Forbes Ukraine quoted the Ministry.
However, these forecasts are based on the abnormally warm winter in 2014-2015, for an average season the country needs at least 28 bln cubic meters of gas. At the same time, according to Naftogaz, in early October 15.8 bln cubic meters was injected in underground storage facilities. That is, at the start of the heating season, which traditionally starts on October 15, Ukraine will be able to accumulate up to 16.5 bln cubic meters of gas in the underground storage facilities (59% of the necessary volume).
According to Co-Chairman of the Kiev Energy Strategy Foundation Dmitry Marunich, "Generally speaking, there are sufficient reserves to start the heating season, provided we continue buying gas." "If the winter is moderate, from October to April Ukraine consumes about 28 bln cubic meters (for heating and the production needs). About 10 bln cubic meters our country receives from its own production, and another 11.5 bln cubic meters can be used from the underground storage facilities, as 5 bln cubic meters — is buffer gas, which cannot be withdrawn from the storage facilities. Thus, we need about 6.5 bln cubic meters of gas for the winter," he said.
Earlier Naftogaz Head Andrew Kobolev said that Ukraine injected 125 mln cubic meters per day. "There was a radical increase in the rate of gas injection. At the moment in amounts to 125 mln cubic meters, including 114 mln from Russia, and the rest — from the European Union," he said. "We import gas from the European Union in all three areas; the most active is from Slovakia. We also import from Hungarian and Polish directions," he added.
According to Kobolev, since the beginning of the year Ukraine imported 9 bln cubic meters of gas from the European Unionm 3.8 bln cubic meters — from Russia.