Foreign traders boost gas reserves in Ukrainian storage

(Reuters) - Foreign traders have increased the volume of natural gas in Ukrainian underground storage to 2.2 bcm as of Oct. 6 from 1.8 bcm in mid-September, the CEO of the country's biggest oil and gas company Naftogaz said on Friday.

"Over the past day alone, we have received 14 applications from non-residents to pump gas into ... Ukrainian gas storage facilities," Oleksiy Chernyshov said on Facebook.

Naftogaz has said that foreign customers could use more than 10 bcm of storage of the country's around 30 bcm capacity, mostly in the country's west, which is far from the front lines of the war against Russia.

Traders told Reuters earlier this year that European gas traders had begun storing natural gas in Ukraine to take advantage of lower prices and available capacity there, regardless of the risks from the war.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the European Union has sought high levels of gas storage to compensate for reduced Russian supply, especially during the peak-demand winter months.

Chernyshov last month said the volume of natural gas stored in Ukraine for the 2023/24 winter heating season was likely to exceed 15 billion cubic meters and that it did not plan to import gas in the 2023/24 heating season.

Ukraine uses gas mostly for heating and says it has nearly completed repairs of its power systems following Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure last winter.

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