On July 11, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with representatives of NJSC Naftogaz and the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry to discuss the situation on the energy market of the country and the opportunities for lowering gas prices for the population.
Representative of the President in the Cabinet of Ministers Andriy Gerus stressed that there was a problem of monopolization on the energy markets of Ukraine, which prevented consumers and the Ukrainian economy from having benefits of the competitive price for the relevant resources. However, there are cases when consumers benefit from the trends of competitive markets. As an example, he cited a recent situation with oil products: “We monitored prices and saw that wholesale prices had dropped significantly. However, gas stations did not react. We drew their attention to it, gas stations heard us and reduced the price by about UAH 1. That is, 7 million drivers got a decreased price, which saves about UAH 1 billion per month on oil products”.
At the same time, the price of gas and electricity remains a pressing issue for consumers. According to Andriy Gerus, there has been a decrease in gas prices in recent months and there are prerequisites for further cheapening already in July. The total reduction in gas prices in May – July will be about 21%.
Head of the integrated gas business at Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Favorov told that the volume of gas on the European gas market had increased at the expense of the supply of Russian and American liquefied fuel, which contributed to the reduction of wholesale prices. And, accordingly, Ukraine has increased the purchase of this energy resource, pumping it into the underground storage facilities – 14.2 billion cubic meters have already been stored and at the beginning of the heating season it is planned to reach 19-20 billion cubic meters. “In July, we will reduce the price for the population by 10.4%,” he said and signed a corresponding order.
Andriy Favorov also noted that the reduction of the price did not contradict the conditions of cooperation with the IMF, as it was a reaction to the situation on the gas market.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President Oleksiy Goncharuk drew attention to the fact that Ukraine may influence the gas price by increasing its own production. In his opinion, the potential for this is first of all in encouraging the use of already obtained licenses for the extraction of minerals.
“This direction should be a priority. It is also necessary to make every effort to attract strategic investors in this sphere. To do this, we will create transparent, well-prepared auctions, so that the investor has enough time to provide a high-quality offer,” Oleksiy Goncharuk emphasized.
According to Deputy Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Mykhailo Blyzniuk, competitions for nine sites of gas extraction were completed recently and they are expected to bring USD 430 million of investments in increasing gas production from Canadian, American and Ukrainian investors.
The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission Oksana Kryvenko who informed of the current situation with tariffs of gas transportation companies and the opportunities for foreign companies to store gas in Ukraine.