Naftogaz transfers Gazprom $15 mln in prepayment for March gas shipments – Kobolev
Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy has transferred Gazprom $15 million in prepayment for shipments of Russian gas in March, Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev told journalists on Friday.
He said that this advance corresponded to around 50 million cubic meters of gas.
Kobolev added that Ukraine had not yet used 120 million cubic meters of gas it previously paid Gazprom for.
According to the Brussels agreements, the state holding has the right to prepay at any point in time, he said.
Concerning future payments for additional volumes of Russian gas in March, Kobolev said: "That will depend on the weather, which affects things tremendously, as well as on shipments from Europe and how much we'll be able to increase [them]. We are even planning for a certain increase in March."
In addition, gas supplies from Hungary are expected to grow, he said. Around 5.8 million cubic meters are imported each day, but this can be increased to 14-16 million cubic meters. In addition, it is possible that the throughput capacity of gas shipments to Ukraine through Slovakia will grow to 45 million cubic meters from 41 million in March.
He also said that Gazprom confirmed its readiness not to count gas shipped to the ATO zone in the contract with Naftogaz.
Kobolev also noted that a halt in Russian gas shipments to Ukraine does not threaten its transit to Europe. Ukraine has already demonstrated its reliability as a transporter, he said.