Ukrainian state gas firm Ukrtransgaz, the energy transport and storage arm of Naftogaz, has reported that natural gas reserves in the country’s underground storage facilities have grown by 31 per cent, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reports.
Ukraine’s underground gas storage now amounts to 11,459 billion cubic metres. The country started increasing its gas stocks in April, and as of June 1, 37 per cent of Ukrainian storage facilities had been filled.
Ukraine and Russia have still not agreed on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Europe, and there remains a real possibility that no agreement will be reached. Fearing a complete halt of transit, Naftogaz is aiming to store at least 20 billion cubic metres by the beginning of the 2019-2020 winter season. Ukrtransgaz operates 12 underground facilities with a 31 billion cubic metre storage capacity.
In March, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev said he expected Ukraine to lose its gas transit role entirely once Russia’s so-called TurkStream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines are completed. On June 3, Russian state gas company Gazprom announced that 57 per cent (1,391 kilometres) of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have now been completed.