Shell to explore for unconventional natural gas in Ukraine

Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to invest as much as $800 million in exploring for unconventional natural gas in Ukraine, according to government officials who signed a recent cooperative agreement with Shell.

Ukraine’s Dnieper-Donets basin, which the government said Shell will explore, contains shale gas in the Famennian, Frasnian, and Visean intervals.

“This agreement will allow us to increase gas exploration in Ukraine in the near future,” said Ukraine Energy Minister Yuri Boiko, who forecast that Ukraine might begin shale gas production around 2016-18.

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych met with Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser in Ukraine on Sept. 1.

Voser said Shell will provide its experts and technology to intensify and expand energy production in Ukraine.

The agreement mentions six licenses: Shebelynsky, West Shebelynsky, Pavlovsk-Svitlovsky, Melekhivsky, Gersevanivsky, and Novo-Mechebylivsky, a government news release said.

The first stage of the project is estimated at $200 million with $600 million expected to follow.

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