Ukraine is on the verge of achieving gas self-sufficiency in 2024 and anticipates a potential resumption of electricity exports in the spring, according to German Galushchenko, Ukraine’s Energy Minister.
The country has significantly reduced gas imports, not purchasing gas from Russia since 2015. Instead, Ukraine has diversified its sources, importing gas from European countries while simultaneously increasing domestic production.
“We are close to it (not needing to import gas). It is realistic to reach the zero gas balance this year,” German Galushchenko told Reuters in an interview.
“But it’s important to realise that our consumption has dropped sharply. A lot will depend on how the industry and the economy will develop. Today there is growth in production and the potential for increase is there and it is real potential.”
Ukraine’s economy contracted by approximately a third in 2022, impacting industries, exports, and supply chains. Gas consumption dropped from around 27 billion cubic meters in 2021 to approximately 19 billion cubic meters in 2023.
Despite the challenges, Galushchenko expressed optimism about reaching a “zero gas balance” in 2024, indicating that Ukraine’s gas production is expected to increase by 7% in both 2023 and 2024. The actual gas production figures for 2023 are yet to be reported, but the country had forecasted production of around 19.1 billion cubic meters.
Furthermore, Ukraine is contemplating the resumption of substantial energy exports in the spring, driven by lower consumption levels. The country had temporarily banned exports during the last heating season due to Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure and significant disruptions. Ukraine aims to leverage its energy potential and contribute to the regional energy market.