ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s overall debt for Russian gas grows to $ 3.492 billion, Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov said on Wednesday, April 30.
“Ukraine’s overall debt for Russian gas, according to preliminary estimates, will be $3.492 billion, сonsidering Naftogaz of Ukraine’s request for April 30 and the volumes we have already delivered this month, ” he said.
Naftogaz of Ukraine had imported 2.250 billion cubic metres of gas worth $1.09 billion by April 26. The request for import in the remaining days of April is 110 million cubic meters per day. The overall amount of gas to be imported by Ukraine in April will be 2.7 billion cubic metres. With the price of $ 485.5 per 1,000 cubic metres, Ukraine’s debt will increase by $ 1.3 billion by May 1 to reach $ 3.5 billion.
The European Commission said it was ready to help Ukraine pay the gas debt. However, acting Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan has so far not stated readiness to pay for the gas supplied by Gazprom.
The agreement on reverse-flow gas supplies assigned with Slovakia will not allow Ukraine to meet its needs without Russian gas. Ukraine consumes 50 billion cubic meters of gas annually and produces 20 billion cubic metres (including Crimea). Reverse-flow supplies will amount to 3.2 billion cubic metres from Slovakia and to 1.5 billion cubic metres from Poland. Hungary may supply 5 billion cubic metres. This will allow Ukraine to make up for one-third of imports from Russia.
Ukraine is ready to pay its debt to Russia’s Gazprom for gas supplies at a price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic metres, Prodan said.
“Ukraine is ready to pay the debt. But we cannot pay the price Gazprom set from April 1. It is unjustifiably high and is about $500. We are ready to pay under our obligations,” the minister said.
He said that the Ukrainian gas transit system would be incorporated into the European gas transportation system. “We can also use the possibilities of our underground gas storage facilities and hope that European gas companies will build up their reserves in our storage facilities,” he said.
According to Prodan, reverse-flow supplies can reach 8 billion cubic metres by September 1, 2014, not by 2015. Gas will be supplied by the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline, not the transit pipeline.
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said such supplies would not require the Russian company’s agreement and would give Ukraine up to 10 billion cubic metres of a gas a year but stressed that reverse-flow gas supplies from Slovakia to Ukraine by the trunk pipeline would be impossible without Gazprom’s consent as it would run counter to the Slovak company Eustream’s contractual obligations.
Oettinger believes that diversification of supplies will help to solve Ukraine’s gas problem in part. However reverse-flow supplies from Poland and Hungary by the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline will not be enough for Ukraine get through the coming winter comfortably.
He also said that the European Union was providing support to Kiev on the repayment of its gas debt to Russia.
The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic metres system at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic metres to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic metres to Moldova. Natural gas transit through Ukraine to Europe and CIS countries in 2011 increased by 5.7% from 2010 to 104,197,067,000 cubic metres, including to Western Europe by 5.9% to 101,098,013,000 cubic metres, but decreased by 2.4% to 3,099,054,000 cubic metres to CIS countries.
Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1,451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38,600 kilometres, including 22,200 kilometres of trunk pipelines and 16,400 kilometres of extensions.