Ukraine's Shale Gas Revolution May Bring Country Closer to U.S. and EU - U.S. Expert

Jun 28, 2013, 16:27 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The development of shale gas deposits represents strategic milestone in Ukraine's pursuit of energy independence boosting national security for Kyiv and Washington and driving Ukraine's European integration. Such was the statement by the U.S. expert on Ukrainian policy Taras Kuzio, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Within a decade Ukraine could satisfy its demand for energy by domestic gas production, he noted.

"The rapid expansion of shale gas production, coupled with expansion of domestic gas with the assistance of Canadian-US companies such as Cub Energy, and energy conservation will contribute toward removing Russia's energy noose around Ukraine's neck" stated Taras Kuzio, the head of the Ukraine Policy Forum at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the School of Advanced International Relations, Johns Hopkins University.

According to U.S. expert, Ukraine's three strategic objectives to pursue shale gas extraction were: "escape" from the unfavorable gas contracts signed by Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Putin, gain geopolitical weight in the eyes of Washington and Brussels, and establish energy independence. "In 2012, Ukraine paid $432 for 1000 cu.m. or 40 percent more than what Italy pays and 20 percent more than Germany. In addition, Ukraine receives two times lower fees for the transit of Russian gas than Slovakia and Hungary," stated Kuzio in his article.

Remarkably, Ukraine's shale gas deposits of 42 trillion cubic feet (1.2 trillion cubic meters), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are third largest in Europe. The country's shale gas pools are recoverable and environmentally friendly, and they can serve as an energy source for Europe and the world's population in the future, stated earlier the former Italian Prime Minister and the former European Commission President Romano Prodi in his article for the Christian Science Monitor.

On January 24, Shell and Ukraine signed the 50-year contract, the biggest contract to tap shale gas in Europe so far. The deal was reported to be worth USD 10 billion. Shell won the right to explore Yuzivske gas field in Eastern Ukraine in May 2012. In August 2012, Shell, ExxonMobil, Romanian OMV Petrom, and Ukrainian state company Nadra received joint rights to develop underwater deposits at Ukrainian deep marine shelf field under the Black Sea.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine