Ukraine expects to receive this year the first gas deliveries from Germany’s RWE under a sale and purchase agreement signed by Kiev in May to diversify its gas supply routes, Naftogaz Board Chairman Yevhen Bakulin said on Friday.
“We plan to get the first gas [in terms of the agreement with RWE] this year,” Bakulin told RIA Novosti, adding the volume would depend on gas spot prices.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said in May the agreement would allow Kiev to receive about five billion cubic meters of the blue fuel per year.
In an attempt to find other gas supply sources, Kiev is also holding talks to buy natural gas from Turkmenistan and liquefied natural gas from the U.S. and Qatar, Boyko said in June.
Ukraine has been seeking to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia following the 2009 gas deal it signed with Russian gas giant Gazprom. The deal ties the price of gas to oil prices, which have risen strongly since 2009, boosting Ukraine’s gas bill.
Ukraine has to pay $416 per 1,000 cu m of Russian gas in 2012. Kiev insists that the price and volume of its gas imports should be reduced.
Boyko announced this January that the country was seeking to cut Russian gas imports to 27 billion cubic meters, from the 2012 contracted volume of 52 bcm. Gazprom reacted by saying the current contract did not stipulate unilateral changes in gas purchases.