Russia Gas Exports to Ukraine Down 50%

Russia Gas Exports to Ukraine Down 50%Russia Gas Exports to Ukraine Down 50%

Ukraine’s 2014 natural gas imports from the Russian Federation amounted to 14.5 billion cubic meters, compared to 28.5 bcm in 2013, the press service of Ukraine’s gas transportation system (GTS) operator Ukrtransgaz said on Tuesday, RT reported.

According to the company, the natural gas volume imported from Russia is 36.2% of the total amount of gas that during 2014 was supplied to the Ukrainian gas transportation system. Ukraine only imported 40.1 billion cubic meters of gas in 2014, compared to 50 billion cubic meters in 2013, Ukrtransgaz said.

The energy crisis in the country forced it to turn to coal and wood for heat, and the country was hit with emergency blackouts to conserve energy. Energy in Ukraine is highly subsidized by the government.

Kiev can buy gas from Russia at $378 per 1,000 cubic meters, a lower price than Russia offers most of its European clients. This deal is valid through March, to ensure Ukraine and Europe don’t face an energy crisis in the winter months, as in 2006 and 2009 when gas disputes between Ukraine and Russia resulted in gas shortages across Europe.

Russia’s state-owned Gazprom ceased gas delivery on credit to Ukraine in mid-June, and the taps were only turned back on in mid-December.

Deliveries to Ukraine resumed after the country began paying off its more than $5 billion in arrears to Gazprom. By the end of 2014, Ukraine’s gas importer, Naftogaz, had paid off $3.1 billion in gas debt, in two large tranches, one in November and the other in December.