Ukraine maybe cutting gas selection concerns Gazprom, supplies have already fallen – Miller
Gazprom is concerned by unilateral announcements by the gas giant’s partners in Ukraine that the selection of supplied gas might be reduced – Ukraine’s gas imports have already fallen by nearly 67% since the New Year.
“Gazprom is concerned by those statements made today that Ukraine is getting ready to select significantly less gas than stipulated by contracts,” Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Miller said that 27 billion cubic meters (bcm) is the figure being bandied about, though an annual 52 bcm of gas is stipulated contractually.
The contract signed with Ukraine is valid until 2019 and contains a “take-or-pay” provision, Miller said.
Asked by Medvedev which measures the contract envisages in the case of a failure to select the indicated amount of gas, Miller said that Ukraine would still be obligated to pay. “Ukraine made such a statement without having reached agreement with the Russian side, and we have made no such changes in the contract,” he said.
Under the existing contract, if changes in the amount of selected gas are made, adjusted supply volumes must be specified half a year in advance. “The Ukrainian side assumes that if it violates the terms of the contract, we will act in a civilized manner. But I think that if that happens, we will behave in a befitting manner,” Miller said.
There have as yet from Ukraine been no new proposals to Russia concerning cooperation in the field of gas, as were mentioned during a meeting between the two countries’ presidents. “At the meeting with the president of Ukraine, where we discussed various cooperation issues and options, not only were some new documents talked about, but as before the issue was major new projects. Has something been done, or is the situation still not moving?” Medvedev asked Miller.
“Nothing appreciably new has happened,” Miller responded, adding that Gazprom’s Ukrainian partners had not offered any new proposals.
“So far, our Ukrainian friends are only talking, but no specific proposals have been made,” he said. Miller added that “we can hope that some sort of specific proposals will be made in the near future.”
According to the Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and Energy Complex (CDU TEK), Ukraine imported 44.7 bcm of natural gas in 2011 – Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy received 39.175 bcm, and independent importer Ostchem Holding, which belongs to Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash, imported 5.53 bcm of Turkmen gas.
Since the beginning of 2012, Ukraine has cut its selection of imported gas by almost 67%. Whereas at the end of 2011 daily selection was 100-110 million cu m, it has fallen steadily since the beginning of January of this year. By Monday, January 9, it had fallen to 33.3 million cu m. Ostchem’s purchases fell the most sharply – by almost 83% – from 23 million cu m to a mere 4 million cu m per day.