ZN.UA writes that Gazprom's claims to Naftogaz of Ukraine, according to preliminary estimates could reach $ 2.7 billion in 2012 if Naftogaz imports only 27 billion cubic meters instead of 33.28 billion (minimum permitted amount of gas on the basis of the present contract). That is, the shortage could reach 6.28 billion cubic meters of gas.
With regard to possible penalties for arrears in 2013, when the reduction of gas imports to 24.5 billion cubic meters (that was recently announced by Fue and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko), the penalty could amount to about $ 3.8 billion (at a shortfall of 8.78 billion cubic meters).
Larger lawsuits can be filed by Gazprom to Naftogaz, if only 20 billion cubic meters wil be imported (this development was not ruled out by Deputy Head of Naftogaz Vadym Chuprun). In this case, the fine faced by Ukraine may reach $ 5.7 billion.
The amount of possible fines was calculated based on the price of $ 430 per one thousand cubic meters of gas.
If such plans (reducing imports of Russian gas) are implemented, it is clear that Gazprom wil file claims to Naftogaz for payment of underbought gas in 2013 under the take or pay item of the contract (unless Naftogaz and Gazprom resolve the issues related to the decrease in the volume of gas purchase by mutual agreement), legal experts say.
However, experts clarify that this year the import of Russian gas to Ukraine, provided that the rate of gas extraction of at least 2011, may exceed the amount that Ukraine should pay for in any case - 33.28 billion cubic meters (minimum permitted amount of gas on the basis of the existing contract for purchase and sale of natural gas in 2009-2019 concluded between Naftogaz and Gazprom on January 19, 2009). This will automatically remove the matter of fines from Gazprom.
According to the State Statistics Service, in the first nine months of the current year Ukraine imported 24.6 billion cubic meters (intended for both Naftogaz and the Ostchem Holding Limited company).