KIEV, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Russian gas volumes transported through Ukraine to Europe in January-September were down 19.7 percent to 62.8 billion cubic metres, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said the transit volume was down from 78.17 bcm in the same period a year earlier.
Last year, Russian gas transit through Ukraine to Europe rose to 104 billion cubic metres from 95.4 bcm in 2010 but Russia has since diverted some shipments to the new Nord Stream pipeline that bypasses its ex-Soviet neighbour.
The ministry said that Ukraine also had reduced gas consumption by 8.3 percent in the period to 37.4 bcm.
Energy minister Yuri Boiko has said Ukraine plans to cut gas consumption by 15 percent this year and by 12 percent in 2013. He gave no details.
Ukraine plans to import 27 bcm of Russian gas in 2012 and 24.5 bcm in 2013, down from 40 bcm in 2010.
The country, whose economy depends heavily on strategic energy supplies from Russia, wants to revise a 2009 gas deal with Moscow, saying it set prices that were too high.
But Moscow says it will cut prices only if Russia’s giant gas export monopoly Gazprom is allowed to buy into the pipelines that carry Russian gas across Ukraine to Europe. Kiev has so far refused to agree to this.
Ukraine is trying to replace some imports of Russian natural gas by drawing on its own limited resources of the fuel and by making more use of its abundant coal reserves.
Kiev is due to pay $432 per 1,000 cubic metres in the fourth quarter and the price could remain unchanged in the first quarter of 2013, according to analysts’ calculations.
Ukraine paid $354 per tcm in the third quarter of 2011 and $400 in the fourth quarter of last year. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely)