Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz is holding talks with a German company over use of its underground gas storage facilities, Naftogaz Deputy Board Chairman Vadim Chuprun said on Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.
“We are ready to offer Europe possible use of Ukrainian underground storage facilities for its gas. Some companies have displayed a very serious interest. Today we are holding negotiations with one of the German companies that has displayed interest and proposed its terms,” Chuprun said.
Several European countries said in early February they had faced shortfalls in Russian natural gas supplies, as a severe cold spell hit Europe, with temperatures plunging to below 30 degrees Celsius. Italy resorted to crisis measures to reduce gas consumption and maintain supplies to domestic customers.
Experts said Gazprom failed to supply enough gas to meet Europe’s requirements due to the absence of sufficient underground storage facilities.
Gazprom, however, accused Ukraine, a transit country, of siphoning off up to 40 million cubic meters of Russian natural gas for Europe over several days in February, which caused financial and reputational damage to Gazprom.
Naftogaz rejected the claim, insisting the Russian gas export monopoly had failed to supply from 24 to 110 million cubic meters of gas to Ukraine’s gas transit system in 21 days in February.