Ukraine’s natural gas stocks in the nation’s underground storage facilities (USFs) between 24 February – 3 March dropped by 7.5%, or 783 million cubic meters (mcm), from 10.425 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 9.642 bcm. Particularly, 112.62 mcm of gas was withdrawn from storage facilities on 3 March alone, the state-run gas transport system operator Ukrtransgaz said, UNIAN reports.
The Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has lost a litigation with NAK Naftogaz-Ukraine at the Stockholm Court of Arbitration, which ordered Gazprom to pay $2.56 to the Ukrainian corporation. First, Gazprom agreed to supply 0.5 bcm of gas to Ukraine in March at the priced determined by the court.
Nevertheless, it suddenly refused to fulfill its contractual obligations and cut the gas pressure at the entry point to the Ukrainian gas transportation system on the eastern border to the critical 50.6 kgf/cm2. Naftogaz-Ukraine says Gazprom’s failure to comply with the court order has caused a gas deficit in Ukraine’s GTS. To overcome the crisis, the Ukrainian government introduced restrictions on domestic gas consumption, whereas Naftogaz opted for an emergency purchase of 60 mcm of gas from Poland’s PGNiG.
Ukraine began the year with 14.7 bcm of gas in the country’s underground storage facilities, which was the largest gas stock as of the start of the year over the previous five years. On 26 October 2017, Ukraine stopped injecting gas into underground storage facilities and started pumping it out to ensure a smooth heating season. By the beginning of the 2017-2018 heating season (15 October), Ukraine had accumulated a total of 16.8 bcm of natural gas in its underground storage facilities.