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EU Will Help Ukraine Diversify Gas Supplies - Ukrainian Energy Minister

KYIV, Ukraine, February 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The European Union will assist Ukraine in diversifying natural gas supplies, noted today Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Eduard Stavytskyi at the 16 th   EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels.  According to the minister, this should influence the current price Ukraine is paying for Russian gas.

In the near future Ukraine can secure annual 30 billion cubic meters gas supply from the west - through Poland and Slovakia, reported the minister. The amount would cover Ukraine's annual domestic demand for gas. The existing technical conditions in Europe are sufficient for servicing the shipments. Notably, the gas would be supplied at the wholesale market price. Currently, Ukraine is purchasing most of its imported gas from Russia - 26 billion cubic meters in 2012, and the projected 20 billion in 2013. In November 2012, Ukraine began importing gas from Germany.

Moreover, Ukraine's Energy Minister Stavytskyi and the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger signed a protocol on the modernization of the Ukrainian Gas Transporting System (GTS). The European Commissioner suggested considering the possibility of creating a trilateral consortium for managing the Ukrainian GTS. "In a month's time we [ Ukraine and EU] will hold a meeting [concerning the consortium] featuring the representatives of leading European companies and businesses of the Caspian region and USA," said Stavytskyi.

In addition, EU acknowledged recent investments into Ukraine made by European energy companies as a positive sign of Ukraine joining the energy market. For instance, earlier this month the Czech group of companies Ekotechnik Czech declared their intention to invest EUR 400 million into the construction of solar power plants in the Khmelnytskyi oblast, Ukraine. In February 2013, Poland reported its plans to invest EUR 1.1 billion in the construction of gas pipelines, connecting the Baltic LNG terminal in Świnoujście with Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Moreover, Shell Ukraine senior official commented in February that during the first stage of the Yuzivske gas field exploration the company will drill 15 wells spending about USD 200 million. In addition, starting in 2013 Shell will annually invest in Ukrainian social projects approximately USD 2 million. Reportedly, in January 2013, Ukrainian government and the Royal Dutch Shell signed the production sharing agreement aimed at increasing domestic shale gas production and promoting investments to Ukraine.

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