20 Feb 2023 16:50

Naftogaz CEO expects Ukraine to boost gas production in 2023

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) - Ukraine plans to increase natural gas production to nearly 19 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2023, Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Alexei Chernyshov said.

"This year, we [UkrGasVydobuvannya] have an ambitious goal - to produce an additional 1 bcm. We expect private producers to boost their output as well. Thus, we will be able to have approximately 19 bcm of Ukrainian gas in 2023," Ukrainian media quoted Chernyshov as saying in an interview with the NV media outlet.

Unofficial estimates put Ukraine's overall natural gas production in 2022 at some 18.5 bcm, or 6.6% less than in 2021. UkrGasVydobuvannya, for its part, said that it produced 12.5 bcm of commercial gas last year.

Ukraine will get through the current heating season due to the existing production volumes, the gas stockpiles formed in underground storage facilities and additional imports, Chernyshov said. In particular, the money to finance these purchases have been found thanks to the assistance extended by the G7 countries and the Norwegian government.

"I can say confidently that it will be sufficient. Moreover, the Naftogaz team is already working on a strategic plan to get through the 2023/2024 heating season," he said.

Naftogaz ended 2022 with losses, Chernyshov said, at the same time expressing hope that the company's operations in 2023 will be profitable.

As reported, UkrGasVydobuvannya, which is 100% owned by Naftogaz of Ukraine, produced 12.5 bcm of (commercial) natural gas in 2022, which is 3% less than the year before.