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Ukraine importing natural gas from EU at record rates: grid official

Highlights

Importing at all-time high of 69 million cu m/d

Previous record of 66.3 million cu m/d was July 23

Ukraine injecting 78 million cu m/day into storage

Kiev, Ukraine — Ukraine is importing gas from the EU at a record-high rate of 69 million cu m/d and may end up storing more gas for the upcoming winter than was originally planned, a senior official said Tuesday.

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The previous highest level of European gas imports into the Ukrainian gas pipeline system was achieved on July 23 when 66 million cu m was imported.

"This is a new historical maximum," said Serhiy Makahon, the general director of Operator GTS Ukrayiny (OGTSU), an arm of state gas grid operator UkrTransGaz.

Along with domestically produced gas, Ukraine has been adding 75 million-78 million cu m/d of gas to its underground storage facilities, a rate that may help Ukraine exceed its original gas storage targets before the start of the high-demand season, Makohon said.

Ukraine, which currently has 18.8 Bcm of gas stored, plans to store at least 20 Bcm by October 15, when the six-month high-demand season begins.

The high pace of gas imports and domestic production could push stocks to about 21 Bcm, according to a source at Naftogaz.

Ukraine wants to store more gas this year because of concerns that Russian gas transit via Ukraine could be disrupted when the 10-year gas accord between Gazprom and Naftogaz expires at the end of the year.

Ukraine has been able to maintain a higher pace of gas imports after increasing import capacity via Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, Makohon said.

The Polish route has been importing 6.5 million cu m/d, up from 4.3 million cu m/d, according to UkrTransGaz data.

-- Alexander Bor, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com