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Last Updated: January 2017

Overview


Map of Ukraine
Map of Ukraine
  • Ukraine is an important transit country for supplies of oil and natural gas from Russia to countries throughout Europe.
  • According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016, coal made up the largest component of Ukraine's primary energy consumption in 2015 at 34%, followed by natural gas at 30% and nuclear at 23%. Only a relatively small portion of the country's total energy consumption is accounted for by petroleum and other liquid fuels (10%) and renewable energy sources (2%).
  • Total energy consumption in Ukraine decreased by about 16% in 2015, largely due to a decline in industrial output. Despite some gains in energy efficiency in the industrial sector, Ukraine's economy is one of the most energy-intensive in Europe. Ukraine's economic growth is hindered by a lack of investments for energy infrastructure modernization, low energy prices for consumers, unstable energy supplies, and inefficiencies in energy consumption.
  • Historically, Ukraine has relied on natural gas from Russia for a majority of its domestic natural gas consumption. As a result of political tensions with Russia, in recent years, Ukraine has sought to diversify its supplies. From 2014 to 2015, natural gas from Russia decreased from 74% to 37% of total Ukrainian imports, while natural gas imports from Europe increased from 26% to 63%, according to Naftogaz, Ukraine's state oil and gas company. The reversal of natural gas flows on pipelines linking Ukraine to Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary increased the natural gas imports from Europe to Ukraine.

Petroleum and other liquids

  • In 2015, Ukraine consumed approximately 236,000 barrels per day (b/d) of liquid fuels, down from about 300,000 b/d in 2010, and produced only 60,000 b/d of crude oil and other liquids This supply deficit has caused Ukraine to depend on crude oil and oil product imports primarily from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Lithuania to meet the remainder of its demand. Crude oil imports, which are sourced primarily from Russia and which supply Ukraine's sole operating refinery, the Kremenchug facility, have dwindled in the past few years, leaving the refinery to rely on domestic production. In 2015, Ukraine imported virtually all of its crude oil from Kazakhstan instead and plans to increase imports from Kazakhstan to about 40,000 b/d. The Ukrainian government announced in April 2016 that it plans to ban imports of oil products from Russia.
  • As with natural gas, Ukraine serves as a transit country for Russian oil exports. The 400,000 b/d southern leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline transports Russian crude oil through Ukraine to supply most of the oil consumed by Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Bosnia.

Natural gas

  • In 2015, Ukraine consumed almost 1.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, a decrease of 14% from 2014. Domestic production accounted for 54% of total consumption while the remainder of natural gas supply was met through imports from Europe and Russia. Russia has historically supplied a majority of Ukraine's natural gas, but beginning in 2015, Ukraine has significantly reduced its direct import of Russian natural gas and instead has received natural gas shipments from Europe. Much of the gas imported from Europe, however, originates in Russia and is brought into Ukraine via reverse flows from central and eastern European countries.
  • Recent discoveries of shale gas deposits in Ukraine have the potential to provide the country with another means to diversify its natural gas supplies away from Russia, but regional conflict has hampered further exploration and development in the short term. After negotiating multi-billion dollar deals both Chevron and Shell, ended natural gas contracts in Ukraine in 2014, citing instability in the region.
  • Ukraine's geographic position and proximity to Russia explain its importance as a natural gas and petroleum liquids transit country. In 2015, European countries received 5.4 Tcf of Russian natural gas, an increase of about 9% from the previous year. Numerous countries in the region receive Russian natural gas partly or exclusively via Ukraine, including Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey.
  • Two major pipeline systems carry Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Western Europe - the Bratstvo ("Brotherhood") and Soyuz ("Union") pipelines. The Bratstvo pipeline is Russia's largest pipeline to Europe. It crosses from Ukraine to Slovakia and splits into two directions to supply northern and southern European countries. The Soyuz pipeline links Russian pipelines to natural gas networks in central Asia and supplies additional volumes to central and northern Europe. A third major pipeline through Ukraine delivers Russian natural gas to the Balkan countries and Turkey. In the past, disputes between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts have resulted in interruptions to Russia's natural gas exports through Ukraine, with the latest one occurring in 2014.
  • Russia has indicated it plans to proceed with construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bypass Ukraine in transporting natural gas to Europe and is expected to be complete in 2019.

Coal

  • Coal production in Ukraine decreased by 37% from 2014 to 2015, primarily because much of Ukraine's coal is located in contested territory in the eastern part of the country. As a result, Ukraine faced significant coal deficits, which led to power outages and costly imports from Russia. Ukraine began to reduce dependency on Russian coal imports in 2015 by diversifying supplies to include greater amounts from the United States, Australia, Kazakhstan, and others.

Electricity

  • In 2015, Ukraine generated a total of 163 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of gross electricity, an 11% decrease from 2014. The country is heavily dependent on nuclear energy—its fifteen reactors generated over 50% of the total electric power supply in 2015. Fossil fuels, particularly coal and natural gas, have traditionally composed a substantial portion of electric power generation, whereas contributions from renewable and other sources have been marginal.
  • The Ukrainian government has proposed to meet at least half of future electricity demand with nuclear power. In the past, most of Ukraine's nuclear fuel supplies have come from Russia, but Energoatom (Ukraine's national nuclear generation company) expected to procure 40% of Ukraine's nuclear fuel in 2016 from Westinghouse.