KIEV, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine has asked Russia to pay $1 billion for 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas stored at an underground facility belonging to Crimea's Black Sea oil and gas company Chernomorneftegaz, Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Tuesday.
“We want to hear the Russian answer, including [the answer] on the issue of giving Ukraine back 2.2 billion cubic meters of gas,” Yatsenyuk said.
Yatsenyuk added the gas was had been stored underground by Chernomornaftogaz underground.
“According to Gazprom prices, [gas volume] is worth $1 billion,” Yatsenyuk said.
The Glebovsky facility has a capacity to store a maximum of 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas. As of May 15, a total of 768 million cubic meters of gas have been pumped into the facility.
Until Crimea’s reunification with Russia in mid-March, Chernomorneftegaz belonged to Ukrainian energy giant Naftogaz. After the referendum on secession from Ukraine, the company was nationalized.
Chernomorneftegaz currently operates as a Crimean republican enterprise. Last year, Chernomorneftegaz extracted 1.6 billion cubic meters of gas.
Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry demanded that Russia hand over 2 billion cubic meters of gas stored at the Crimean facility.