Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine would be able to get through the current winter heating season relying solely on its own domestic gas production for the first time in history.
“We are going through this heating season for the first time in the history of Ukraine using our own gas,” said Shmyhal in a Telegram announcement, adding that Ukraine currently has about 10 billion cubic meters available in its storage.
There had also been an 11 percent increase in production volume with new gas wells, being opened by the national gas and oil companies Naftogaz and Ukrgazvydobuvannya.
On Jan. 9, Naftogaz said production from its 86 new drilling wells had surpassed 1 billion cubic meters thanks to new technologies, which allowed the company to tap into previously unreachable deposits.
Ukraine had also been incorporated into the European ENTSO-E power system and increased its power import capacity to 1.7 gigawatts, which Shmyhal said would be powerful enough to balance the systems in case of Russian attacks.
He also said that tariffs for electricity, gas and heat will not be changed during the current heating season.
However, Hennadii Ryabtsev, a Ukrainian energy expert, told Interfax Ukraine that total production volume actually dropped after the full-scale invasion, and Ukraine is able to sustain itself mostly because of reduced consumption.
According to his data, previous gas production in Ukraine was approximately 17.6 billion cubic meters, while before the war there were more than 20 billion cubic meters when all mining companies’ output was combined.
A 2020 investment report released by the Ukrainian government has shown that Ukraine was able to produce 20.7 billion cubic meters of gas in 2019 and imported another 14.3 billion cubic meters from 76 European natural gas providers.
It has not imported natural gas from Russia since 2016.
However, Ryabtsev said that Ukraine is also much more prepared this winter.
“This winter is easier than the previous one, because energy companies have prepared well enough for it. International partners helped Ukraine with the supply of large equipment, allowing 100 units of such equipment to be either modernized or replaced.
“This made it possible to create a reserve of distribution capacity, to restore the branched network along which energy flows can be redirected if this or that power line fails,” said Ryabtsev.
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