SLOW UKRAINIAN GAS
Aug 26 Ukraine's efforts to store natural gas for winter are running 1 billion cubic metres behind their pace last year, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday.
Ukraine has 14.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in underground storage, he said.
The country aims to store 18-19 bcm of gas before the winter heating season begins in mid-October.
"On this day last year, we had 1 billion more ... We're in talks with our Western partners to get short-term funding to pump gas," Yatseniuk said at a government meeting.
Ukraine suspended gas imports from Russia in July over pricing, leaving it dependent on domestic output and imports from Europe.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it was considering a $300 million trade finance loan to state-run Naftogaz to help it buy gas.
The government has ordered Naftogaz to borrow $1 billion to create a fund to finance the purchase, transport and storage of gas.
Talks have been held not only with the EBRD, but also with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss gas, among other topics.
Last week the Commission said it might be able to hold another round of ministerial talks with Russia and Ukraine on gas at the end of September.
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.