OSLO Oct 3 Norwegian energy firm Statoil has signed a deal to sell gas to Ukraine state gas firm Naftogaz, the Nordic firm said on Friday, providing another source of gas for Ukraine after Russia cut off supplies.
On Thursday a source in the Ukrainian energy sector told Reuters Ukraine had received its first supplies from Norway via Slovakia and that the price was much lower than for Russian gas.
"Statoil has signed an agreement with yet another new-to-Statoil gas customer in the European gas market. The agreement with Naftogaz is for deliveries of gas in Slovakia," Statoil spokesman Morten Eek said. "From there they are responsible for transportation."
Statoil is Europe's second-largest gas supplier after Gazprom.
He did not say the value of the deal. "In a Statoil context, this is a short-term and relatively low-volume agreement," he said.
Russia, Ukraine's main supplier, cut off supplies in June. Ukraine has imported some gas from neighbouring EU countries Poland and Hungary. In September, Kiev also started gas imports from Slovakia.
Ukraine, which consumes about 50 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year, produces about 20 bcm and imports the rest. Russia cut off gas supplies over a price dispute. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, writing by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Jane Baird)