National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine has agreed to return RUE (RosUkrEnergo), that belongs to Dmytro Firtash and Russia's company Gazprom, 12.1 billion cubic meters of gas at the most disadvantageous scheme for Ukraine. As a result of the deal NAK loses at least 2.8 billion US dollars in revenue, and if RUE sells the gas outside the country, Ukraine will face energy collapse, the newspaper Kommersant-Ukraine writes.
Yesterday, on November 29 in the evening representatives of NAK Naftogaz of Ukraine told about the signing of a package of agreements in the gas sphere with VAT Gazprom and RosUkrEnergo. According to documents, Naftogaz of Ukraine will return 12.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to RUE. RUE in turn repay the debts towards NAK in the amount of 1.7 billion dollars and towards Gazprom - 810 million US dollars. "The agreements that have been reached will help preserve Ukraine's gas balance and ensure the heating season in 2010-2011, without the involvement of extra credit resources by Naftogaz”- said in a statement.
In early 2009 Naftogaz of Ukraine by order of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko withdrew from underground storage facilities of the country 11 billion cubic meters of gas that belonged to RUE. The reason for this was the right to demand from the trader the debt of 1.7 billion dollars, which was ceded to Gazprom by Naftogaz. But the selection of gas on account of debt was not issued legally between Naftogaz of Ukraine and RUE. At the same time, Gazprom stopped sale of fuel to the trader, which made the implementation of contracts in Europe impossible. Nevertheless, RUE presented claims to the Russian monopoly, but appealed to the Stockholm arbitration with the requirement to recover 11 billion cubic meters and 1.1 billion cubic meters of fine from the NAK. In June, the court upheld a trader, and last week the Supreme Court of Ukraine confirmed that decision.
The parties considered two schemes of debt repayment. The head of the Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry Yurii Boiko, according to the newspaper, proposed Naftogaz of Ukraine at the negotiations with the head of Gazprom Aleksei Miller to return not 11 bn cubic meters but only a half to RUE. In this case, the remaining amount was counted as a discharge of indebtedness towards the monopoly in the amount of 1.7 billion US dollars. The proposed scheme is as follows: "Naftogaz gives a trader the whole volume, but it returns 5-6 billion cubic meters at low price of 2008 (150-180 US dollars per 1 thousand cubic meters) as a debt. Gazprom insisted on the scheme of return which was announced yesterday, on November 29. The agreements were signed following the results of the visit to Moscow of Yurii Boiko, the source of the newspaper in the Fuel and Energy Ministry specified.
Now, the parties agree, where RUE will be able to sell this gas, says a source of the newspaper in the Ministry of Fuel and Energy. "If this volume is exported, as a result Ukraine will have a lack of natural gas to have autumn-winter period," - says the source of the newspaper in the Ministry. As of November 17 24.4 billion cubic meters of gas have been accumulated in the underground gas storages.
But even if the gas is sold on the domestic market, it will lead to direct losses of Naftogaz of Ukraine, which are estimated at 2.8 billion US dollars at the current price for gas (including return of 1.7 billion US dollars), said a leading expert of energy programs of the Razumkov Center Volodymyr Omelchenko.
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