Energy and Environmental Protection Minister of Ukraine, Oleksii Orzhel, has said that the market price for natural gas for the population will take effect on May 1, 2020. He said this at a press conference on December 2, Ukrainian News Agency reports. He added that the Government aims to build effective markets and prevent from cross subsidizing. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Cabinet of Ministers has amended the provisions on public service obligations (PSO) to introduce a fixed insurance gas price for household consumers and heat producers from January 1 to April 30, 2020. According to Honcharuk, the aim of this state price regulation is to ensure stability and accessibility of gas in the period of January-April 2020, when there could be a potential absence of gas transportation through the Ukrainian gas transmission system. Information on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers states that this decision sets the insurance price for gas au UAH 6,960 per thousand cubic meters (including VAT, but excluding transmission costs). According to the information, this price will be 7% lower than the price of gas in the first quarter of 2019. For domestic gas consumers and heat producers who reject the insurance price, their gas prices could increase by 45% if a gas transit contract is not signed with the Gazprom gas company (Russia). Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksii Orzhel recently said that the price of natural gas for households would be below UAH 8,550 per thousand cubic meters in the first quarter of 2020 and that gas prices would be historically low in the 2019\/20 heating season if a gas transit contract were signed with Gazprom. The Naftogaz of Ukraine national energy company raised the price of natural gas for households by UAH 622.24 or 14.6% to UAH 4,899 (excluding VAT and transmission costs) under the terms of its public service obligations (PSO) in November. Ukraine stopped pumping natural gas into underground storage facilities and began pumping gas out of them on November 2. Gas reserves in Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities totaled 21.785 billion cubic meters as of November 2. This means that gas reserves in underground gas storage facilities have increased by 13.040 billion cubic meters or 2.5-fold since the gas-pumping season began on April 5. The Naftogaz of Ukraine national energy company’s Board Chairman Andrii Kobolev has stated that gas reserves in underground gas storage facilities reached the highest volume in nine years before the beginning of the 2019\/2020 heating season.