Russia initiated gas talks with the EU and Ukraine

Russia fears that Ukraine will not have enough stored gas for winter and so initiated trilateral consultations with the participation of an EU representative.

This was announced by the head of the Russian Ministry of Energy, Alexander Novak.

“We have been instructed to conduct appropriate negotiations and consultations in the near future. We are now negotiating the date of European Commission Vice President Mr. Maroš Šefčovič’s arrival in Russia. We are going to discuss issues concerning a safe winter and the transit of gas to European consumers,” Interfax quoted Novak as saying.

In Russia’s opinion, Ukraine has not put enough gas into storage.

“That is why at low temperatures there is a risk that Ukraine will not have enough money for underground gas storage facilities in order to provide reliable transit. In this regard, we have been instructed to conduct appropriate negotiations and consultations,” Novak stated.

As of November 12, 2016, the underground gas storage (UGS) facilities of Ukraine contained 14.25 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 2.65 billion less than at the same date in 2015. During the first month of the current heating season, Ukraine used nearly 480 million cubic meters of natural gas from the underground storage facilities.

According to the calculations of Naftohaz of Ukraine, at least 7-8 billion cubic meters should remain in the UGS facilities by the end of the heating season, with a minimum permissible value of 5 billion cubic meters.

During the 2015-2016 heating season, Ukrtransgaz started active gas extraction from the UGS facilities on October 30, 2015, (the reserve was 17 billion cubic meters of gas then) and finished it on April 6, 2016 (with reserves of 8 billion cubic meters).

Ukraine has not bought Russian gas since the end of November 2015.

In early June, Naftohaz notified Gazprom about plans to resume gas imports. Ukrainian company suggested that the parties sign an addendum to the gas contract for the next three quarters, on the condition that the gas price would be lower than that of European suppliers.

  Ukraine, Russia, EU, gas import