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Russia Attacks Natural Gas Storage Site in Ukraine

Russia attacked an underground natural gas storage site in the Ukraine, but the Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz said that supply had not been disrupted.

“We have sufficient backup capacities in place to mitigate any immediate impacts. The supply of natural gas to Ukrainian consumers remains unaffected by the attack,” the chief executive of Naftogaz, Oleksiy Chernyshov said on Facebook, as quoted by the Kiyv Independent.

The attack is the latest in a string of hits targeting energy infrastructure that plunged several cities into rolling blackouts as power utilities rushed to restore supply.

According to Reuters, the largest energy producer in the Ukraine, DTEK, has lost 50% of its generation capacity. Electricity exports were suspended, the country’s energy ministry said.

The news that a gas storage site has become the target of an attack might cause concern in Europe after the EU started sending extra gas to Ukrainian storage sites after its own filled up. This began last year, with the Ukrainian state energy company making available 10 billion cu m of capacity. This represents a third of the country’s total storage capacity.

Last year, according to the Kiyv Independent, foreign energy traders made us of some 2.5 billion cu m of that capacity and this year they started filling up the storage capacity earlier than usual, Naftogaz said this month. The company is hoping to see 4 billion cu of capacity utilized by European energy traders this year.

Most of the Ukrainian gas storage capacity is located in the western part of the country, which is far from the frontline and has not been targeted by Russian forces yet. The storage sites are also deep underground, as Naftogaz’ Chernyshov explained, which makes them relatively safe from attacks.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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