Foreign gas traders are keeping 4.4 bcm in Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities – double the amount of this time last year

, reports Ukratransgaz. With Ukraine’s duty free warehouse regime gaining wider acceptance amongst EU companies, foreign-owned gas now accounts for 28% of the 15.5 bcm currently stored in Ukraine. Over the summer, when prices are low, the reservoir system is expected to fill to close to its 30 bcm total capacity.

“Ukrainian gas storage injections hinge on price, not geopolitical risk – traders,”

 wrote the ICIS energy news site on the impact of the Russian military threat to eastern Ukraine. “European gas companies will consider storing gas in Ukraine depending on summer-winter spreads irrespective of the evolution of the Ukrainian-Russian military tensions,” read the analysis. With today’s summer-winter price gap 85% lower than last year, traders said they did not see much incentive to store gas. One trader noted that the bulk of Ukraine’s 12 underground storage areas – largely depleted gas fields

Foreign companies own almost one third of the 15.4 billion cubic meters stored in Ukraine – up from zero two years ago, reported

 Sergii Pereloma, the Head of the UGS storage unit of Ukrtransgaz. The number of foreign customers has doubled and now includes companies based in UAE, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Key attractions for international investors are: duty free import and exports for three years, reasonable warehouse rates, and transparent procedures.