Yuriy Vitrenko, head of Naftogaz, resigns

Yuriy Vitrenko, head of Naftogaz, resigns
Yuriy Vitrenko, current chairman of Naftogaz / bne IntelliNews
By Dominic Culverwell in Berlin November 2, 2022

Yuriy Vitrenko, the chairman of Naftogaz, Ukraine’s largest national oil and gas company, will step down from his position on November 3, the Kyiv Independent reported on November 1.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the resignation of Yuriy Vitrenko, Naftogaz stated on its website. The reason is currently unknown, but more information will be revealed on Vitrenko’s last day.

Naftogaz has faced a difficult year and continues to battle to provide enough gas to Ukraine during the “worst winter” in Ukraine’s history. Vitrenko stated that Naftogaz expects “constant power outages and problems with heating” due to low gas storage supplies and repeated Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities.

"It's a challenge to ensure that people still have enough heat, gas and electricity during the war," Vitrenko told the Kyiv Independent.

Moreover, the company has to spend money repairing infrastructure damaged by recent Russian shelling, including over 40% of power generation plants, despite defaulting on a debt payment over the summer.

“In the gas sector, Naftogaz has managed to maintain almost the pre-war level. But production keeps coming under fire. Numerous employees have already died – not only because they fought at the front, but also at their workplaces,” he said, the New Voice of Ukraine reported.

Naftogaz defaulted on a $335mn redemption on July 26 after the government ordered the company not to pay in order to “preserve cash” to buy badly needed gas supplies for the winter. The investors argued that the company was still a profitable concern and had the cash to meet the payment and so should have met its obligations.

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