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Ukraine’s 2023/24 winter gas reserves seen above 15 bcm -Naftogaz chief

The volume of natural gas stored in Ukraine for the 2023/24 winter heating season is likely to exceed 15 billion cubic meters, making imports unnecessary, the head of the state-owned Naftogaz company said on Thursday.

Oleksiy Chernyshov told national television the country was unlikely to import gas this winter as it has enough fuel for domestic needs.

The country’s energy ministry said this week Ukraine had already met its winter gas storage target of 14.7 billion cubic metres (bcm).

Ukraine uses little natural gas to produce electricity but relies on the fuel for heating and industry – sectors vulnerable to Russian strikes that chat could damage critical infrastructure.

Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February last year, does not import gas directly from Russia, which is a major energy producer and exporter, but Ukrainian pipelines still carry Russian gas to Europe.

Ukrainian storage facilities are mainly located in the western part of the country and can store around 30 bcm of gas.

Naftogaz said in a separate statement that the company, aiming to cover the country’s needs with domestic production, has brought several new gas wells into operation with a daily output of 1.2 million cubic meters.

The company has not disclosed the location of the wells, but most of Ukraine’s gas fields are in the Kharkiv and Poltava regions that have come under frequent Russian missile fire.

Ukrainian energy officials have said previously that the country’s gas consumption has fallen by almost 40% due to the war and damage to industrial facilities.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Olena Harmash; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tomasz Janowski)

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