Ukraine survive without the “Gazprom”

Kiev managed to do this winter without Russian gas reserves Ukrainian underground storage enough until the end of the heating season. In crisis Ukrainian industry Russian fuel is also not required. However, the “Gazprom” can make a claim under the contract for the unselected gas in the first quarter. In addition, to replenish gas next season is likely to Kiev will still have to buy from the Russian monopoly.

Repeated statements by the Ukrainian authorities about the refusal of Russian gas in the heating season, have all chances to become a reality - Ukraine actually managed to survive the winter without Russian fuel. The heating season has passed over the middle, and in the Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities has 10.7 billion cubic meters.

“We now have 1.8 billion cubic meters more than the same period last year”, - emphasized in the “Naftogaz”

According to the Ukrainian Fund of energy strategies, selection of gas from underground storage facilities is 40-50 million cubic meters per day. Co-Chair of FES Marunych Dmitry says that if the weather will remain close to the current gas in underground gas storage will be enough until the end of the heating season (he will end April 30 - “Herald”).

Moreover, given that the extreme point of fullness storage - 5 billion cubic meters (hereinafter begins the so-called buffer gas), UGS reserves at the current level, the selection will be enough for at least 114 days. Marunych, however, notes that in recent years the level of filling of storage facilities did not fall below 6 billion cubic meters, but even in this case, the reserves can be used for more than three months.

Now gas consumption in Ukraine is about 110 million cubic meters per day, and in the industry accounts for only 30-35% of these volumes.

Most of the consumer provides gas from UGS and Reverse deliveries from Europe. How to tell “the Newspaper” in “Ukrtransgaz”, the reverse is now 43 million cubic meters per day. Natural gas is supplied from the territory of Slovakia and Poland. Since the beginning of the month (from 1 to 8 February) 342 million cubic meters of gas was imported. The remaining volumes of consumption provides its own production in Ukraine.

In the first quarter of 2016 from the purchase of Ukraine Russian gas declined, saying that obtained by reversal of volumes it is enough with the reverse gas price is much lower. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Fuel and Energy Industry Vladimir Demchishin, it is $ 190 for 1 thousand cubic meters. Russian gas in the first quarter would have cost Ukraine $ 212 - and that’s taking into account the discount (without it - $ 230).

By the way, in the third quarter of 2015. Kyiv and gas from Russia does not buy, and also because of the high, according to Kiev, prices. In late September, the parties, with the support of Europe (which feared that Ukraine does not have enough gas in the winter, and this will lead to the unauthorized withdrawal of transit volumes) failed to agree on the supply. And here Moscow has granted a discount of about $ 20, so the price was $ 228 per 1 thousand cubic meters. According Demchishin, the benefits for Ukraine from this agreement amounted to 1 billion hryvnia - that is how much to save “Naftogaz”. In total, then, Russia had bought just over 2 billion cubic meters. gas.

But by the beginning of December last year, Ukraine has refused to buy Russian gas again, and continued this line in the first quarter of 2016

In late November last year, Ukrainian Cabinet even gave “Naftogaz” order prohibiting the purchase of gas from “Gazprom”. On the question whether the “Naftogaz” buy Russian gas in the second quarter, did not respond to the Ukrainian company. Ukrainian expert in the field of energy, the former press secretary of “Naftogaz” Valentin Zemlyansky believes that after the end of the heating season 2015-2016 Kyiv especially will not buy Russian gas.

“For the industry in large volumes need not, - says Zemlyansky -. The independence of the Russian gas, which is so fond of saying that the Ukrainian authorities and, allegedly, is a consequence of significant savings in consumption of raw materials, there is nothing but the result of the collapse of the industry.”

In the past year, according to experts, Ukrainian industry consumed 11.4 billion cubic meters, which, according to Zemlyansky, the lowest result during the existence of Ukraine as an independent state.

But in the second half of the year Ukraine will have to prepare the underground gas storage for the next heating season. “And only by reversing it to fill the storage to the required level will not” - said the head of the National Energy Security Fund Konstantin Simonov. That is somehow negotiate with “Gazprom” still have.

In addition, we must not forget that under the current Russian-Ukrainian contract continues to operate normally “take-or-pay” (take-or-pay), according to which the counterparty is obliged to pay a certain minimum proportion of contracted volumes regardless of whether selected if he them in reality.

“Gazprom” has demanded that Ukraine $ 2.549 billion for the unselected in the third quarter of last year, 10.485 billion cubic meters. It is possible that for the first quarter 2016 and onwards (depending on whether Kiev will buy Russian gas), the Russian monopoly has also put forward requirements on take-or-pay.

The representative of “Gazprom” was unavailable for comment. However, the Ukrainian side has repeatedly stated that in the form in which the principle of “take-or-pay” prescribed in the contract, it does not recognize it and it’s already become a matter of litigation.

Price is one of the main factors influencing the decision of Kiev for the purchase of Russian gas. According to estimates by Konstantin Simonov, in the second quarter and deliveries, “Gazprom” and the reversed gas in Europe will cost in the range $ 170-180 per 1 thousand. Cubic meters. Valentin Zemlyansky said about $ 160.

But equally important is the political component. Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated their intention to completely abandon Russian gas, reducing dependence. Example of winter, it would seem, is confirmed. However, according to Konstantin Simonov, actually reverse the growth from Europe to the Ukraine to the current heating period was provided precisely Russian gas.

“If the winter 2014-2015 year,” Gazprom “refused to increase the on-demand delivery to European customers, so they do not provide this gas to Ukraine, but now the problem is sure to get Kiev to buy Russian gas directly is not necessary”, - says head of FNES.

Stocks in the UGS in Ukraine accumulates as last year due to the reverse (which partly can be called Russia) and direct supply of “Gazprom”.

10 February 2016

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