Ukraine Energy Minister: Energy Independence is Our Top Priority
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Achieving energy independence has become top priority for President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Such statement was made during the Washington meeting of the working group on energy security co-chaired by the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Boyko and Special Envoy of the United States Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar.
The United States welcomed the steps taken by the Ukrainian government to create volatile economy model. "A successful energy program will reduce dependence on traditional resources such as gas," said Richard Morningstar.
"Ukraine has made concrete steps toward development of shale gas production. The first license tenders have been awarded to Shell and Chevron. Ukraine will continue moving in this direction, since the potential of shale gas is huge," said Yuri Boyko. According to the minister, Ukraine will soon hold new tenders for the development of two deep-water areas on the Black Sea shelf.
During the meeting the working group also discussed issues of energy security in Eurasia, the U.S. and the EU's position regarding the "South Stream", prospects of creating Consortium to manage and finance Ukrainian GTS modernization, ways of diversifying energy supplies to Ukraine, as well as the reform of Ukrainian state owned oil and gas company Naftogaz. The parties approved of the progress of the program of reactivation of the dormant marginal oil and gas fields. This project has been supported by the U.S. Agency for Trade and Development and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Working Group also highlighted bilateral cooperation in the nuclear sector. "Ukraine fulfilled all its promises to transfer highly enriched uranium to the United States. Moreover, we are actively working on improving nuclear safety programs at Ukrainian nuclear power plants and have achieved significant results there," concluded Boyko.
In February 2011 Ukraine and the United States signed the Memorandum of Understanding On Unconventional Gas Resources, which includes a program of joint activities between the two countries for the development of unconventional gas production in Ukraine.
Previously, Energy Minister Boyko stated that Ukraine planned to set up domestic shale gas extraction in five years. Comparatively, it took the U.S. 20 years to accomplish similar goal. By 2020 Ukraine plans to extract four to five billion cubic meters of shale gas annually.
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