Ukraine is better prepared for this year's winter season thanks to a 7-8% increase in domestic gas production, Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov tells Newsweek.

Russia has already renewed its bombing campaign targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure, but we have learned valuable lessons from the experience of last winter and are now stronger, Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov has stated in a new interview with Newsweek. 

"We expect that Russia will continue to carry out missile strikes and drone attacks on our energy infrastructure. Their goal is to deprive Ukrainians of access to basic amenities including heating, gas, and electricity. However, Ukraine will stand firm," Chernyshov commented.

In preparation for the coming winter season, Naftogaz Group has filled its underground gas storage facilities ahead of schedule with up to 14.7 billion cubic meters, which is thought to be more than enough for the winter months. By November 1, Naftogaz plans to increase gas volumes in storage to 16 billion cubic meters.

This year, we have increased gas production by 7-8% and developed a record number of new wells. As a result of this progress, I am confident Ukraine will be able to cover its energy needs during the winter months via domestic production. This heating season, we do not plan to import gas," stressed Chernyshov.

In addition to becoming nationally self-sufficient in the gas sector, Chernyshov said Ukraine also plans to serve as a "power bank" for the whole of Europe. The Naftogaz CEO noted that following victory in the current war with Russia, Ukraine's domestic gas resources could allow it to become a major energy exporter to the EU. However, much will depend on the development of strategic partnerships. "Further increases in gas extraction and energy production will require significant investments," commented Chernyshov.   

Background: In 2022, Naftogaz paid more than UAH 90 billion in tax contributions to the Ukrainian state budget.

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