KIEV, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Ukraine has collected 13.06 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in underground storage as of August 3, still short of the 18-19 bcm it seeks to store by mid-October, gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said on Monday.
It said in a statement that it had stored 1.0 bcm of gas in July.
Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said last week the country planned to increase gas imports from Europe in August to 40 million cubic metres (mcm) per day from 24 mcm in July in order to achieve the storage targets for next winter.
However, Ukrtransgaz said on Monday that the volume sent to reserves daily had fallen to 22.8 mcm as of August 3. The company gave no reason for the decrease, but Demchyshyn said on Sunday that Ukraine still lacked funds for gas purchases.
Ukraine suspended gas imports from Russia in July due to a pricing dispute, leaving it dependent on its own output and European imports.
Energy officials say Ukrtransgaz must store about 60 mcm per day to ensure it has enough gas for winter and to ensure there is no disruption to Russian gas piped across Ukraine to Europe.
Europe receives about half of the Russian gas it imports via Ukraine. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely)