Just days after concluding an agreement with the Russian Federation, cutting imports of Gazprom natural gas, the Ukrainian government is seeking ways to diversify its energy sources to further lessen its dependence on its giant northern neighbor.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said that one possibility was to diversify the country’s import sources while promoting the increased consumption of more coal.
Interfaks-Ukraina news agency reported that Boyko told a press conference, that Ukraine intends to begin buying natural gas on the spot market in the summer of 2012, observing, "One of the diversification directions is buying gas on the spot markets. It is a process we have been preparing for a long time and worked through all possibilities... This morning I had a conversation with the European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and I received confirmation once again that we will receive their support... This diversification direction will be implemented in summer."
As for diversifying supplier Boyko added, "We have entered negotiations with our Turkish partners (for Azeri gas) regarding the delivery of natural gas along a new route. I hope that in late January we will present exact proposals and begin direct talks with them." On the issue of developing indigenous resources Boyko stated that in 2012 Ukraine plans to increase coal extraction up to 84 million tons, up from 82 million tons in 2011 and that "Transition of our heating plants to coal will allow us to save up to 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com