Ukraine would receive income of $15 billion in five years of transit of Russian natural gas, according to Minister of Energy and Environment Protection of Ukraine Oleksiy Orzhel. “The approximate income with which Ukraine left this meeting [the meeting in Minsk on December 20, following which Ukraine-Russia-EC signed an intergovernmental protocol], is more than $3 billion for arbitration and approximately $3 billion for transit each year during five years,” the minister wrote in his column for the Ekonomichna Pravda (Economic Truth) publication on Tuesday.
“Thus, in five-year outlook, we will receive about $18 billion, of which $3 billion is ‘natural’ money – before the New Year. And this is without any enslaving conditions regarding the purchase of Russian gas,” Orzhel said.
At the same time, he said that at the meeting in Minsk the parties made significant progress, however, at present, the risk of not signing the new contract still exists.
“The protocol is not an agreement yet. In the last week of December, our companies will draft the text. But until the agreement itself has been signed, there is no transit. Can the other side change its mind at the last moment? Yes. Are we ready for this? Yes. But if this happens, Gazprom will suffer all image losses,” the minister added.
Oil transit through Ukraine to European countries in January-November 2019 decreased by 1.1% (by 138,400 tonnes) compared to the same period in 2018, to 11.967 million tonnes, according to data from JSC Ukrtransnafta. The volume of oil transportation to oil refineries in the country for the 11 months amounted to 2.175 million tonnes, which is 13% (249,600 tonnes) more than in the same period in 2018.
Thus, in January-November 2019, the share of transit volume in total oil transportation (14.142 million tonnes) amounted to 84.6%, the share of pumping to the country’s refineries some 15.4%.
In November 2019, oil transit through Ukraine by pipeline increased by 33.6% (by 334,700 tonnes) compared to the same month of 2018, to 1.330 million tonnes, pumping to the country’s refineries by 10.5% (by 19,700 tonnes), to 206,800 tonnes.
Ukraine has accumulated significant reserves of natural gas in its underground gas storage facilities and coal in the warehouses of thermal power plants, which will allow passing this winter even in case of interruption in gas transit from January 1, 2020, Minister of Energy and Environment Protection of Ukraine Oleksiy Orzhel has said.
“This means that Ukraine this winter, even without transit, will not be cold,” he said on the air of ICTV Channel.
According to him, traditionally the greatest risks may arise in February-March, when stocks in underground gas storages become smaller. At the same time, stress tests conducted by the GTS operator indicate that even on the peak days of maximum consumption, the country will be able to satisfy the gas demand of Ukrainian consumers.
Orzhel also said that the government is developing mechanisms to prevent a sharp increase in gas prices in winter for consumers in the country.
As reported, as of November 16, 2019 Ukraine has 21.530 billion cubic meters in underground gas storage facilities, which exceeds the November 16, 2018 reserves by 27.1%, those on November 16, 2017 by 29.3%, and November 16, 2016 by 52.5%.
Coal reserves in the warehouses of thermal power plants of energy generating companies of Ukraine amount to 2.243 million tonnes, which is 33.6% more than last year’s reserves.
Ukraine, the European Commission and the Russian Federation held technical consultations in Brussels on Tuesday to prepare for the next round of trilateral talks on gas transit after January 1, 2020.
NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy said in a press release that during the consultations the parties discussed Ukraine’s progress in the implementation of the norms of the European legislation and the creation of independent gas transmission system operator.
In addition, the signing of an interconnection agreement between the operators of the gas transmission systems of Ukraine and the Russian Federation on standard European conditions was discussed, as well as the methodology of tariff formation for gas transportation, and other issues.
The next round of trilateral gas transit negotiations is expected to take place on October 28.
JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Kyiv) will provide regular routes of the Metrans transit train in the territory of Ukraine from China to Slovakia. According to the press service of the company, the first container train from the Chinese city of Xi’an to the Slovak city of Dunajska Streda ran through Ukraine on September 27-29. It is formed of 44 forty-foot containers.
It is preliminarily planned that four pairs of container trains will run from China to Slovakia every month. In October 2019 it is planned to send two trains.
Ukrzaliznytsia notes that Metrans reoriented freight traffic along this route from the Polish territory to Ukraine as the route through Ukraine is shorter by 520 km, which saves the sender’s funds.
As reported, in 2018 Ukrzaliznytsia transported 334,963 containers in twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), which is 13% more than in 2017 (295,479 TEU).
Ukraine in January-August 2019 increased transit of natural gas through its gas transportation system (GTS) by 2.3% compared to the same period in 2018, to 59.553 billion cubic meters, according to recent data of JSC Ukrtransgaz.
According to the calculations of the Interfax-Ukraine agency, gas transit through the country to Europe for the eight months amounted to 57.705 billion cubic meters (2.4% more compared to January-August 2018), to Moldova some 1.848 billion cubic meters (0.4% less).
In August 2019, gas transit decreased by 12.5% compared to the same month of 2018, to 6.362 billion cubic meters. In particular, gas transit through Ukraine to Europe amounted to 6.194 billion cubic meters (12.9% less), to Moldova some 168.8 million cubic meters (up by 4%).