Ukraine builds up 14 bcm of gas in storage ahead of winter - Naftogaz
KYIV, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Ukraine has built up around 14 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in its storage facilities and does not plan to import gas in the 2023/24 heating season, the chief executive of Ukrainian state-owned gas firm Naftogaz said on Monday.
Ukraine will have at least 14.7 bcm of gas in storage at the start of the 2023/24 heating season, Oleksiy Chernyshov said in televised comments.
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"This year we are relying on our own production and it will be enough to get through this heating season," he said.
Naftogaz said earlier this year that it had launched 11 gas wells so far this year to try to cover Ukraine's needs with domestic production.
Ukraine uses little gas to produce electricity, but relies on the fuel for heating and industry - sectors vulnerable should Russian strikes damage infrastructure.
Ukraine does not import gas directly from Russia, but Ukrainian pipelines still carry some Russian gas to Europe.
Ukraine, which was invaded by major energy supplier Russia in February last year, began the heating season that ended in April with 14.1 bcm of gas in reserves. By mid-April, around 9 bcm remained.
Ukrainian storage facilities are mainly located in the western part of the country and can store around 30 bcm of gas.
Ukrainian energy officials have said previously that consumption has dropped by almost 40% because of the war and the extensive damage done to industrial facilities. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Tom Balmforth and Timothy Heritage)