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Ukraine enters March with UGS stocks of about 10 bcm – Naftogaz head

KYIV. March 2 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Stocks in underground storage facilities (UGS) in Ukraine as of the beginning of March came to about 10 billion cubic meters of gas, Oleksiy Chernyshov, Board Chairman of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy, has said.

“Currently, about 10 billion cubic meters of gas are stored in Ukrainian underground storage facilities, which, with the current withdrawal, allows us to count on sufficient gas stocks at the end of the heating season,” he wrote in an column of the Economic Pravda newspaper.

According to him, the weather in March is predicted to be relatively warm, so even increased demand for gas to generate electricity will not significantly affect the balance of the Ukrainian gas market.

Chernyshov recalled that the major aspect of the country’s energy security in the future should be its own stable gas production, so the company is working to increase it in the western regions of Ukraine – Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia, which are currently the safest for investment and production development.

3D seismic surveys have already begun there, which will cover an area of over 1,500 square kilometers. The plans for 2023 include drilling 12 new wells in the western region and upgrading the existing infrastructure.

“Increasing gas production is one of the priorities of Naftogaz. Our goal for this year is an additional 1 billion cubic meters. If the total gas production in Ukraine is more than 18.5 billion cubic meters, we will be able to do without imported gas at all,” Chernyshov said.

According to him, the company was tasked with having at least 15 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukrainian storage facilities by the beginning of the next heating season.