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KIEV, July 7. /TASS/. Russia’s gas producer Gazprom offers a lower price for natural gas supplies to Ukraine than European countries, Chief Executive Officer of Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy Andrey Kobolev said Thursday.
"The price Gazprom is offering ($167.57 per 1,000 cubic meters - TASS) is slightly lower than that of European suppliers," he said, adding that the gas price on the European market is "rather volatile" and may go down.
The Ukrainian company expects Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom to sign the amendment to gas sale-and-purchase contract from 2009, which stipulates resumption of Russian gas imports in the third quarter of this year.
"Unfortunetaly, Gazprom has not signed the amendment to contract, which would allow gas purchases in the third quarter. We’re in talks though it’s difficult to say how they will turn out," he said.
According to Kobolev, European capacities are sufficient for pumping gas to Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities for the new heating season.
"We‘re planning to reach the level of 14.5 bln cubic meters," he said when asked what volume of fuel the country plans to get in store before the heating seasons starts.
Naftogaz plans to seriously increase its natural gas imports in July.
"We intend to launch (imports) this month," he said, adding that the plan is to import more than 3 bln cubic meters of gas.
According to Kobolev, Naftogaz will purchase gas using its own currency resources and loans raised, including that from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). "We have currency reserves on our accounts," he said.
The company’s Director of Business Development Yuri Vitrenko said Naftogaz has a revolving line of credit from EBRD worth $300 mln and the sides are in talks on potential increasing of the loan. Also, the company is considering other sources of borrowings, for example the World Bank (WB).
Kobolev said the World Bank is offering more flexible finance terms and enables the borrower to independently choose the gas supplier.
Earlier Naftogaz planned to raise $500 mln from the bank for gas imports.