As of 16 August, accumulated gas reserves in Ukraine’s underground storage facilities have already reached more than 17.5 bcm. Naftogaz now seeks to cross the 19 bcm mark before the upcoming heating period starts. This level is an essential condition for the company to secure a stable heating season, with regard to all additional risks, Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Yuriy Vitrenko stated during a recent business visit to Lviv Region.
“It is the government’s estimate that at the start of the next heating season, we must have gas reserves of 17 bcm in underground storage facilities. We are now approaching the level of 18 bcm. However, in order to make sure that this heating season runs smoothly and without interruptions, we want to pump in even more gas”, said the Naftogaz CEO while visiting Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske UGS.
Vitrenko underlined that the Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske gas storage facility is the largest in Ukraine, which makes it the most critical for the uninterrupted heating season.
“We are happy with the preparation progress – we can now see that everything works as necessary. This is why we look with confidence towards the future, knowing that the country will smoothly go through the heating season, and Ukrainians will have enough gas”, Vitrenko assured.
According to the Naftogaz CEO, additional gas volumes that have been planned for the season are necessary only to make sure there will be no gas shortages during the winter season, even where there is a potential additional consumption by thermal power plants that usually face the problem of insufficient coal supplies in storage facilities.
“Looking back at the previous years, except maybe the last one that was exceptional, you will see that we used to start the heating season with 16 bcm in underground storage. Today, we already have much more but we still want to reach over 19 bcm. With this secured, we will know that we can give a helping hand to power generation facilities, should they need gas for electric power generation”, added Vitrenko.
Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske UGS is Europe’s largest and the world’s 5th largest underground gas storage facility with a capacity of 17 bcm. The facility is used to ensure reliable transit gas supplies to West European countries, make up for seasonal fluctuations in consumption by Ukraine and Europe, as well as to create long-term and operating reserves of natural gas.