14 Jul 2022 09:29

Ukraine's Naftogaz sets up firm in Slovakia to provide administrative, intermediary services

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) - Naftogaz Ukraine set up a subsidiary called Naftogaz Slovakia s.r.o. in May 2022, the country's public registries showed.

The new company's charter capital of 300,000 euros was covered by another subsidiary of the Ukrainian state oil and gas company, Naftogaz Trading Europe AG (Switzerland). The Slovakian subsidiary is headed by Ivano-Frankivsk entrepreneur Vladimir Tomash.

The company's business was initially leasing real estate, but as of mid-June it can also provide administrative services, intermediary services in trade and production, advertising, marketing and consulting services, as well as market and public opinion research.

Navtogaz Ukraine head Yuriy Vitrenko said in May that Ukraine was not currently importing natural gas and that it was still managing to increase reserves in storage, but that such imports would probably be needed before the end of the year.

"We are discussing various import options, both LNG, specifically U.S. LNG, and gas imports from countries from which we did not import before," he said.

"Since the amounts of gas that need to be imported are relatively small compared to previous years, we have some flexibility, we can afford, at least for now, to look for the best import options and a lower price, and risk to a certain degree. Because we understand that we have sufficient capacity for imports from Europe, and if we don't import in June we still have July, August and September," Vitrenko said.

Vitrenko said last month that Naftogaz was holding negotiations on importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the fourth quarter of this year. "There are certain technological limitations here - Ukraine has never physically imported LNG. We understand that we don't have LNG terminals, so we have to ship the LNG to terminals in Europe and then ensure physical transport of this gas already by pipelines to Ukraine or carry out swap transactions," Vitrenko said.

Naftogaz needs to import 5.8 billion cubic meters of gas in order to store up 19 bcm of gas in underground storage facilities by the start of the heating season in line with government targets, he said. However, if Ukraine goes into the fall with 15 bcm in storage it will also be quite sufficient, as this "is also a level with a certain reserve, not just the minimum level," Vitrenko said, noting that gas consumption has fallen given the situation in the country.