KIEV, June 4 (Reuters) - Ukraine, which aims to store around 20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas for the 2019/20 heating season had reserves of 11.5 bcm as of June 1, state-run Naftogaz said on Tuesday.
Ukraine had stored 9.6 bcm of gas at the same time last year.
The reserves rose by 1.97 bcm in May, the company said in a statement.
Naftogaz boss Andriy Kobolev said last month that Ukraine needed to increase gas reserves by 18 percent this year to cover its winter needs and to guarantee transit to European consumers.
Ukraine consumed 32.3 bcm of gas in 2018 and imported 10.6 bcm. For the heating season which ran from mid-October to April, Ukraine stored 16.9 bcm of gas.
Ukraine used to meet its gas needs with imports from Russia, but has not bought Russian gas directly since November 2015. Kiev’s relations with Moscow soured after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Kiev now imports from Europe. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely)