Time is pressing: Will Ukraine have enough time to get ready for the most difficult heating season?

September 10, 2022

The heating season of 2022/2023 will be difficult and unpredictable for Ukraine. After all, the war goes on, and there are risks that the situation at the frontlines may escalate at any time.

The Russian occupiers can intentionally do anything to damage the industrial infrastructure and disrupt the heating season. Damaged or destroyed gas furnaces will require urgent repair, which is extremely difficult, sometimes — impossible in the zone of hostilities.

In addition, Russia will obviously continue its gas war against Europe. Since spring, the aggressor country has been committing various provocations: first, gas transit to the EU via the Sokhranivka gas measuring station was stopped, then, Gazprom tried to cause an accident on the main gas pipeline, and later, pipeline transit was stopped. The other day, Nord Stream was again completely blocked indefinitely.

At the same time, the Kremlin openly declares that the whole matter lies in the Western sanctions, and problems with gas supply will persist until they are lifted.

What is necessary for a successful heating season

For a successful heating season, first of all, there must be enough resources — so-called primary energy carriers. They are partially transformed into secondary energy carriers, say, coal and gas are transformed into electricity, or into heat and hot water. Therefore, the sufficiency of resources is the starting point in preparation for the heating season, the former PR director of the Naftogaz Group Maksym Bielawski says.

Resources are delivered, using the infrastructure. Infrastructure is comprised of the gas transportation system, underground gas storages, low-pressure gas distribution networks, heating lines and water supply systems.

Via workable infrastructure, resources go to a liquid market, accessible for solvent consumers. So, the third precondition for successful passage of the heating season is that the gas and electricity markets, as well as the conventional heat and hot water markets, are liquid. This means a sufficient amount of funds coming from energy consumers.

In their turn, energy suppliers spend the funds received to pay wages and to buy raw materials and consumables, necessary to maintain stable operation of the infrastructure. These funds should also be spent on remedy of emergency situations. Part of the funds is channelled directly to producers of energy carriers. Producers, in turn, need these funds for a continuous cycle of production/extraction of energy carriers.

If it is possible to suspend the supply of energy carriers somewhere else, in wartime, energy supply must be resumed as quickly as possible.


Natural gas

At the beginning of the heating season, Ukraine will have 14.5 BCM of gas. This will be enough to survive the heating season, which will most likely start on November 1, assures the interlocutor of Channel 24. However, during the heating season — from November 2022 to April 2023 — it will be necessary to import approximately 3 BCM of gas from the European Union. This can be done, and will be done under medium-term contracts. Such contracts can be made with both public and private traders.


The situation with coal is quite optimistic, despite hostilities in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Ukraine will start the heating season with reserves of more than 2.2 million tons. Compared to the previous year, this is a record-high indicator.

In case of additional demand in coal for generation, this demand will be covered by imports from the European market. Perhaps we will not need to import coal, given the successe of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the eastern regions, Maksym Bielawski hopes.


In the current season, Ukraine will not process oil, because oil refining capacities have been lost as a result of hostilities. Therefore, oil can be used in certain local cases by mini-refineries. In all other cases, energy carriers will be imported from Europe.

Heating oil

Heating oil will also be used during the heating season — we have more than enough of it. Solid fuels, such as peat briquettes, will also be used. This type of fuel is also abundant.

So, for successful passage of the heating season in Ukraine, we have enough resources. There should be no problems, even taking into account the military factor, — the expert assures.

Military factor

The military factor creates the greatest risks for the stability of the infrastructure and potential duration of restoration of the supply of energy carriers. For example, the enemy can use 152 mm and bigger munitions to damage an underground gas pipeline at a depth of 2 meters. However, the practice shows that in case of combat damage to the energy infrastructure, it can be restored quite quickly.

Financial liquidity

The toughest "bottleneck", after the infrastructure, is presented by the energy market liquidity. There are certain problems with collection of funds for the consumed resources, primarily from households, due to the decrease in the solvency of the majority of Ukrainians. It is difficult to calculate the users who were previously serviced by the enterprises of oligarch Dmytro Firtash, but now switched to Naftogaz of Ukraine. There are about 8 million such households.

I hope that this problem will be resolved before the beginning of the heating season.



Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"