Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ukraine Pays $1 Billion For Russian Gas Imports In October

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz Ukrayiny on Monday paid $1.004 billion to Russia's gas giant Gazprom for natural gas imported in October, the company said Wednesday.
"Naftogaz every month in full and on time fulfills commitments to Gazprom on payment for the supplied natural gas," the company said in a statement.

Naftogaz needs to make monthly payments to Gazprom within the first week of the following month to comply with a gas agreement both signed in January 2009.

Failure to pay on time for gas imports may provoke Gazprom to suspend gas supplies to Ukraine that may in turn affect other countries in Europe.

Ukraine has been trying for months to renegotiate its current gas deal with Russia, seeking a lower price. But the talks have so far failed to yield any tangible results.

Ukraine is buying Russian gas at about $401/1,000 cu m in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $355/1,000 cu m in Q3, $297/1,000 cu m in Q2 and $263/1,000 cu m in Q1, according to Naftogaz.

The gas prices include a discount of $100/1,000 cu m, obtained in April 2010 for extending of the stationing of Russian navy in Crimea by 25 years.

Naftogaz paid $487 million to Gazprom in September for natural gas imported in August, compared with $477 million paid in August for gas imported in July.

Meanwhile, Ukraine plans to switch to Russian rubles away from US dollars in paying for Russian gas imports, the National Bank of Ukraine reported earlier this month following negotiations in Moscow.

The NBU reported that the switching to rubles from dollars would allow Ukraine to ease mounting pressure on the local currency, the hryvnia, which has been suffering from widening current account deficit this year.

But the report triggered an outcry from opposition figures that said the move may weaken Ukraine's independence by forcing the central bank to accumulate part of its foreign exchange reserves in rubles, a volatile currency.

"The ruble is not a currency that is converted on international forex markets. The ruble can be purchased in the Russian Federation," Viktor Pynzenyk, a former finance minister, told Liberty Radio. "This means that the central bank must keep part of its reserves in rubles."

Ukraine plans to import a total of 40 billion cu m of gas from Russia in 2011, up from 36.5 Bcm imported in 2010, according to Naftogaz.

No comments: