Minister of Energy of Ukraine German Galushchenko took part in the Ministerial Meeting of the International Energy Agency. Among the participants were heads of energy departments of more than 40 countries - the United States, Canada, Japan, Austria, Spain, Korea, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Norway, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Estonia, Ireland, and others.
The delegates discussed specific measures to strengthen the security of natural gas supplies in the context of the global energy crisis.
Analyzing the situation in the European gas market, the participants emphasized that joint, quick and decisive actions had ensured energy supply during the 2022-2023 heating season. It is important to prepare for the next heating winter period (HWP).
In his turn, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine noted the importance of the decisions taken by the European Union to reduce dependence on russian energy carriers, including, in particular, the establishment of alternative gas supply routes.
"However, the war continues. And russia still has an impact on our markets and, I am sure, will try to use it as a means to achieve its goals. So, we have to plan our policy of accelerating diversification for the coming months and years," said German Galushchenko.
In this context, the Minister spoke in detail about the capabilities of Ukraine's underground gas storage facilities and gas transportation system and outlined the benefits of their use for foreign partners, including European ones.
"Ukraine operates the largest underground gas storage facilities in Europe. Their total capacity is 31 billion cubic meters. About 80% of our UGS facilities are located on the western border. Convenient logistics make Ukrainian storage facilities a natural part of the EU gas market," said the Minister adding that competition for free energy resources in the global market was growing, thus affecting prices. Therefore, it is necessary to start contracting for the next HWP using the existing infrastructure.