August 2020 Ukraine’s natural gas imports from EU surged 1.6 times, up to 3.36 bcm
In August 2020, compared to July 2020, Ukraine increased its import of natural gas from Europe by 1.6 times, up to 3.36 bcm, which was the highest monthly level over the last 5 years, as reported by the Gas TSO of Ukraine LLC (GTSOU).
The increase was primarily due to more imports from Slovakia, by 1.8 times more, up to 2.66 bcm. Deliveries from Slovakia grew due to a sharp increase in virtual reverse imports though Velke Kapushany, which became available from July 1, 2020. During August 2020 there were 1.36 bcm of natural gas imported through Velke Kapushany, by 7 times more than in July 2020. Other 1.3 bcm of natural gas from Slovakia were physically imported through Budince natural gas interconnection point, which remained at the level of July 2020.
Deliveries from Hungary increased by 16%, up to 544 mcm during August 2020. All natural gas coming from Hungary is imported under the virtual reverse import mechanism.
Deliveries from Poland, by contrast, dropped by 6%, down to 162 mcm during August 2020.
Thus, in August 2020, for the first time in the history of Ukraine, the volume of imports under virtual reverse mechanism exceeded the volume of physical gas supplies. According to the virtual reverse, 2.06 bcm of natural gas were imported, which was 61% of all imports. Virtual imports were available in all three main Ukrainian interstate natural gas interconnection points, i.e. Slovakia (Velke Kapushany), Hungary (Bereg VIP),and Poland (Ukraine-Poland VIP).
During January-August 2020, compared to the same period last year, Ukraine increased its natural gas imports by 31%, up to 12.6 bcm, which was also record high over the last 5 years.
According to foreign traders and the GTSOU, a significant part of imported gas was pumped into Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities under the Customs Bonded Warehouse re- gime. As of August 30, 2020, Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities contained more than 25.5 bcm of natural gas.
One may recall that during September 1-21, 2020, natural gas imports through Budince (Slovakia) will not be available due to scheduled repairs of the interconnection. Imports under virtual reverse mechanism through Velke Kapushany will not be affected and remain available.