13:19 10.01.2017

Ukraine gas stocks down 22% in heating season so far

Gas stocks in Ukraine's underground storage facilities declined by 22.2% or 3.272 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 11.460 bcm since October 13, when the current heating season began, through January 8.

Ukraine withdrew 86.33 million cubic meters (mcm) from underground storage on January 8 and a total of 533.38 mcm in the first eight days of January (66.67 mcm/day on average), Ukrtransgaz, which operates the country's pipelines and storage facilities, said in a statement.

Withdrawals amounted to 1.569 bcm in December (50.6 mcm/day on average) and 909.42 mcm in November (30.31 mcm/day).

Despite a cold snap in January, the withdrawals have not topped 100 mcm, although Ukraine has the technical ability to withdraw 1% of current stocks. The biggest daily total was 89.65 mcm recorded on January 7.

Based on the most likely temperature scenario in January, and assuming that current import and domestic production volumes are maintained, Ukraine will enter February with 9.4-10.1 bcm of gas in underground storage.

Last year, Ukraine withdrew 109.58 mcm of gas from underground storage on January 8, when stocks amounted to 12.998 bcm. It withdrew 92.37 mcm on January 8, 2015, when stocks totaled 10.792 bcm.

As of January 8, 2017, daily imports of gas were 48.312 mcm, of which 40.583 mcm from Slovakia, 3.534 mcm from Hungary and 4.195 mcm from Poland. Ukraine has not imported gas from Russia since November 26, 2015.

Gas production in Ukraine on January 8 was 56.615 mcm, of which Ukrgazvydobuvannia produced 40.729 mcm, Ukrnafta 3.39 mcm and other companies 12.496 mcm.

Transit via Ukraine's gas transportation system was 2.144 bcm in the period January 1-8, corresponding to a monthly rate of about 8.3 bcm.

Naftogaz Ukrainy officials believe the gas stocks are sufficient to make it through the heating season and, if the winter is more severe than expected, Ukraine has the capacity to increase imports. Naftogaz calculates that stocks will end the heating season in the range 7-8 bcm, compared with the minimum allowable level of 5 bcm.

Withdrawals in 2016 exceeded injections by 2 bcm: 8.391 bcm was withdrawn and 6.389 bcm was injected.

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