Naftogaz of Ukraine Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Yuriy Vitrenko says that the price of natural gas Ukraine currently buys from the Slovak Republic is lower than the price of the gas Russia`s giant Gazprom may sell at in the first quarter of 2017.
”The price of Gazprom gas is now not $140-160 as Yulia Tymoshenko states, but $178-183 per 1,000 cubic meters (adjusted for calorific content) or over $175 if not. And from the first quarter it will be $200-210. Gas prices are on the decline on the European markets now, and the price in Slovakia today was lower than Gazprom`s expected price in the first quarter of 2017,” Vitrenko wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, prices of European gas are highly volatile, he said.
”In August-September, there were considerable shipments at the price that is lower than Gazprom`s one. We could have bought even more, but Gazprom was blocking the virtual reverse, therefore we bought less than we wanted. Then, it was unusually cold in autumn, and European prices were higher than Gazprom`s, but the gap wasn`t huge,” he said.
Vitrenko also says that to start buying gas from Gazprom, Ukraine will have to sign an additional agreement which will outlaw gas shipments to occupied areas or the use of payment to offset `debts` under the current contract.
”We cannot buy gas from Gazprom without an additional agreement to the incumbent contract or a trilateral agreement, involving the European Union and Russia. As there is huge risk that our payments for gas (and the payment should be at least $600 million) could be used to offset the `take-or-pay` liabilities (agreed by the then PM Tymoshenko with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2009 and which we`re now challenging in Stockholm, as Gazprom has already charged about $38 billion in these liabilities) or could be shipped to occupied areas instead of us,” Vitrenko wrote.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine stopped buying Russian gas more than a year ago. It imports gas from Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Hungary.
Early in December 2016, Naftogaz`s press service said that the holding had bought 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas from six European companies, using loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The average price was $185 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev said earlier that Ukraine would buy gas from Gazprom only after signing an additional agreement.