SBI investigates how Galushchenko's men helped "privateers" earn 300 million on autogas during the invasion
Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Published: February 06 2023 at 10:42 am
Source: Yuriy Shkolarenko

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the circumstances of the Ministry of Energy's auction of liquefied natural gas in April 2022. Investigators suspect that the fuel was sold at a reduced price to companies affiliated with the Privat group. This resulted in Ukrnafta's loss of profit of UAH 300 million.

This became known from a number of court rulings in case No. 62022000000000235 of 03.05.2022.

It is known that on April 27, an additional auction (No. 100D) for the sale of Ukrnafta's liquefied gas was held at the UICE Commodity Exchange "Contract House UICE". The auction was held for May's resources totaling 14.1 thousand tons (two bids for 8.1 thousand tons and 6 thousand tons).

As a result of the bidding, two companies became the buyers of the fuel - Karpatinaftotrade LLC and Transoilgaz LLC. The court register shows two agreements concluded on the same day, April 27, between Ukrnafta, the exchange and the companies to sell 3,000 tons of liquefied gas to each of them for a total cost of UAH 168.02 million.

The calculations show that the price of a ton of gas at the auction amounted to UAH 28,004. Ukrtatnafta PJSC was listed as the producer of the products under these two agreements.

The investigation is into possible underpricing of the sale price of liquefied gas.

Court rulings show that after the auction No. 100D, the Ministry of Energy informed law enforcement officers that the average starting price of liquefied gas at auctions in January-April 2022 decreased from 27,312 UAH/t to 19,651 UAH/t. At the same time, the final auction price of liquefied gas in January-April 2022 increased from 28,304 UAH/t to 56,713 UAH/t.

In addition, the Ukrainian Energy Exchange reported in a letter that on the same day, April 27, Ukrgasvydobuvannya sold liquefied gas at a price of UAH 54,000 to 55,600 per ton on its platform. That is, almost twice as expensive as the sale of gas on the UICE.

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According to the SBI's calculations, Ukrnafta lost UAH 300 million in profit due to the underestimation of the sale price. This amount implies that the entire declared resource of Ukrnafta of 14 thousand tons was sold at the auction No. 100D on April 27.

Also, during the pre-trial investigation, investigators received information that the auction was conducted formally in violation of the "Procedure for Organizing and Conducting Exchange Auctions for the Sale of Crude Oil, Gas Condensate of Own Production and Liquefied Gas" approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on October 16, 2014, No. 570.

According to the SBI, UICE did not have the appropriate license at the time of the auction:

"According to a letter from the National Securities and Stock Market Commission dated 24.05.2022, as of 01.04.2022 and until 23.05.2022, UICE Contract House did not receive a license to carry out professional activities in organized commodity markets, namely, activities for organizing trade in products on commodity exchanges; activities for organizing the conclusion of derivative contracts on commodity exchanges."

Investigators believe that Karpatynaftotrade and Transoilgaz are under the influence of the Privat group, whose most prominent beneficiary is Ihor Kolomoisky. Investigators point out that some of the fuel was then sold through Privat's gas stations at market prices.

Officially, the case No. 62022000000000235 is being investigated under part 2 of Article 364 on abuse of power or official position, which caused grave consequences. The rulings state that Ukrnafta officials are suspects. However, during the investigation, the SBI, in agreement with the Prosecutor General's Office, asked the court to provide access to the data of the Ministry of Energy officials who negotiated, prepared documents, participated in the 1N00D auction and in the conclusion and execution of Ukrnafta's liquefied gas sale and purchase agreements. The court granted the motion.

The publication published the minutes of the auction committee meetings. They indicate that the auction committee was chaired by First Deputy Energy Minister Yuriy Vlasenko. The published documents show that Deputy Energy Minister Mykola Kolisnyk spoke about the preparation of an additional auction No. 100D at the UICE. The same one who was pushed by the Ministry of Energy last summer to become the head of the GTS Operator of Ukraine LLC.

Kolisnyk, according to the published documents, reported on the results of auction No. 100D, which were approved by the auction committee.

On May 26, the court arrested possible evidence in the case, including Ukrnafta's liquefied gas. In August, the company tried to lift the seizure of its fuel. At that time, these companies were controlled by Ihor Kolomoisky's management. But on November 7, the state transferred Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta to the management of the Ministry of Defense, along with a number of other companies. And after that, the Kyiv Court of Appeal refused to lift the arrest of Ukrnafta's liquefied petroleum products.

Transoilgaz LLC was registered in July 2021 in the village of Poberezhzhia in Zakarpattia. The director and owner is Nazariy Voloshenyuk from Ivano-Frankivsk.

Karpatinaftotrade LLC was registered in 2015 in Nadvirna, Ivano-Frankivsk region. The owner is Victoria Samarchuk from Lutsk.

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