* Ukraine has said it has enough gas in its reservoirs
* Fears of new disruption to Russian exports to Europe
* Gazprom boosts Q2 net income, raises full-year core profit
(Adds detail, comments)
MOSCOW, Nov 14 Russian gas export monopoly
Gazprom ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine in a gas
pricing dispute, saying its western neighbour did not have
enough gas in its reservoirs to ensure safe transit of the fuel
to Europe this winter.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Markelov said on
Thursday that the gas storage situation in Ukraine was a
"catastrophe" despite Kiev's assurances that there would be no
repeat of the supply disruptions of 2006 and 2009.
"Our Ukrainian colleagues pumped only 17.6 billion cubic
metres (bcm) into underground storage, which is way too low ...
In a situation like this, gas transit from Russia in winter is
impossible," Markelov said.
Ukraine's energy ministry and its state-owned energy firm
Naftogaz could not immediately be reached for comment. But Kiev
said earlier this week it had enough gas in its reservoirs to
ensure the flow to Europe remained unaffected.
It said it had about 19 bcm of gas in underground storage
vaults as of the end of October.
Replenishing gas held in underground caverns is vital to
supplement production and ensure that peak levels of heating
demand can be met during the coldest time of the year.
Ukraine, through which Russia supplies around half of its
gas exports to Europe, has asked Moscow to cut gas prices,
calling them "exorbitant".
Kiev pays around $400 per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas
- one of the highest prices in Europe and a burden which weighs
heavily on its debt-strapped economy. It has been steadily
reducing its Russian gas intake.
A meeting between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Evgen
Bakulin, head of Naftogaz, ended without result on Thursday.
"They discussed the problems. No decision yet," said a Gazprom
Earlier this month, Naftogaz said it had halted Russian gas
purchases, while Gazprom said the company had not been paying
for its gas in full.
Gazprom's Chief Financial Officer Andrei Kruglov said on
Thursday that Ukraine's outstanding debts for gas deliveries
total over $1.3 billion.
The decision by Naftogaz last Friday to suspend imports
sparked fears of a possible new dispute that might also affect
supplies of Russian gas to Europe.
Earlier on Thursday, Gazprom revealed its second-quarter
financial results, which beat expectations, and increased its
guidance for full-year core profit by 10 percent to over $55
billion on the back of rising exports to Europe where it
generates more than a half of its revenues.
Gazprom's shares ended the trading session up 2.48 percent,
outperforming the broader Moscow market, which rose by
The company said the average price in Europe for 1,000 cubic
metres of its gas edged up 1 percent to $385 in the January-June
period, compared with the same period a year before.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Douglas Busvine
and Pravin Char)