Gas stocks in Ukraine’s underground storage facilities have declined by 22.2% or 3.272 billion cubic meters to 11.460 billion cubic meters since October 13, 2016 when the current heating season began, through January 8.
Ukraine withdrew 86.33 million cubic meters from underground storage on January 8, and a total of 533.38 million cubic meters in the first eight days of January (66.67 million cubic meters per day on average), Ukrtransgaz, which operates the country’s pipelines and storage facilities, said in a statement.
Withdrawals amounted to 1.569 billion cubic meters in December 2016 (50.6 million cubic meters per day on average) and 909.42 million cubic meters in November 2016 (30.31 million cubic meters per day).
Despite a cold snap in January, the withdrawals have not topped 100 million cubic meters, although Ukraine has the technical ability to withdraw 1% of current stocks. The biggest daily total was 89.65 million cubic meters recorded on January 7.
Based on the most likely temperature scenario in January, and assuming that current import and domestic production volumes are maintained, Ukraine will enter February with 9.4-10.1 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storage.
Last year, Ukraine withdrew 109.58 million cubic meters of gas from underground storage on January 8, when stocks amounted to 12.998 billion cubic meters. Ukraine withdrew 92.37 million cubic meters on January 8, 2015, when stocks totaled 10.792 billion cubic meters.
As of January 8, daily imports of gas were 48.312 million cubic meters, of which 40.583 million cubic meters from Slovakia, 3.534 million cubic meters from Hungary and 4.195 million cubic meters from Poland. Ukraine has not imported gas from Russia since November 26, 2015.
Gas production in Ukraine on January 8, was 56.615 million cubic meters, of which Ukrgazvydobuvannia produced 40.729 million cubic meters, Ukrnafta 3.39 million cubic meters and other companies 12.496 million cubic meters.
Transit via Ukraine’s gas transportation system was 2.144 billion cubic meters on January 1-8, corresponding to a monthly rate of about 8.3 billion cubic meters.
Naftogaz Ukrainy officials believe the gas stocks are sufficient to make it through the heating season and, if the winter is more severe than expected, Ukraine has the capacity to increase imports. Naftogaz calculates that stocks will end the heating season in the range of 7-8 billion cubic meters, compared with the minimum allowable level of 5 billion cubic meters.
Withdrawals in 2016 exceeded injections by 2 billion cubic meters: 8.391 billion cubic meters was withdrawn and 6.389 billion cubic meters was injected. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)